MSG’s coup de grace? Melanesia cracks up

WILL the controversy surrounding the appointment of a new director general of the Melanesian Spearhead Group be its coup de grace? The question is being posed as first Vanuatu, and now Papua New Guinea, the former being the host of the MSG secretariat but with the latter are founders of the MSG (together with Solomon Islands) have cried foul at the supposed appointment of Fijian senior diplomat and public economist Amena Yauvoli as DG. A spokesman for Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai told this magazine the ni-Vanuatu leader is not questioning the qualification of Yauvoli, but rather the way he was apparently appointed.

Citing the constitution of the subregional body, PM Salwai insisted that it is the leaders of the MSG that should appoint Peter Forau’s replacement, who tendered his resignation abruptly and left the organisation last November. It was for this reason a special leaders summit was being scheduled to take place in Port Vila on 6 May, and the new Vanuatu Government could not understand why Fiji and supported by the current chair of the MSG, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands, pre-empted the leaders’ decision by announcing Yauvoli’s appointment.

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