Vanuatu deputy PM confident of forming new Govt

Vanuatu leaders
(L-R) Ishmael Kalsakau and Bob Loughman (July 2021)

The camp led by Vanuatu’s caretaker deputy prime minister Ishmael Kalsakau has reiterated that it remains a solid grouping of 30 MPs and that it will name its prime minister and cabinet line-up on Friday.

A second camp, led by the caretaker prime minister Bob Loughman has confirmed that it has 22 MPs in the 52-member house but that it is still hoping to entice more from the other side.

The spokesman for Kalsakau’s group, former prime minister Sato Kilman said they are ready to elect a new prime minister on Friday when parliament sits for the first time.

He said the allocation of ministerial portfolios has also been done and endorsed by the eight political parties in the camp.

Kilman has urged Loughman’s camp to accept the defeat and get ready to play its role as opposition in the country’s thirteenth legislature. The snap election two weeks ago was called by Loughman to evade a motion of no confidence brought against him.

Meanwhile, Daily Post reports continuous hunting tactics for Vanuatu Members of Parliament (MPs)-elect has reached a point where it is harassment.

The above remark was made by Kilman after their media press conference to confirm their numbers.

“I think it is time our colleagues at the Iririki Camp accept that they do not have the numbers,” he said, urging the Loughman-led camp at Iririki to accept defeat and get ready to play their role as the Opposition in the country’s 13th Legislature.

“We will form the next government, there are a lot of talks and political negotiators trying to hijack MPs-elect to the other camp,” he said.

“My view is that this is not healthy. We have the numbers and we will elect the new PM on Friday and a new government will form. Today there is a lot of hunting around for MPs-elect.

“It gets to a point where it is really harassment. We are leaders. We are elected by the people. We are expected to lead and we don’t need to be treated in such a way. As political leaders we need to understand and accept this.”

Daily Post received information from reliable sources that the Iririki Camp has reportedly offered the position of the PM and certain ministries to one of the political parties at the Aquana Camp, but the offer was refused.

Sources said that Aquana had closed negotiations last week and there is no room to accommodate any other winning candidates from Iririki.

There are three MPs-elect at Iririki who had defected from their party presidents at Aquana before the official declaration of winning candidates by the Electoral Commission.

According to Kilman, during their two weeks at Aquana, the political parties have drafted a ‘100-day’ Plan, which exceeds the 100-day period. He said the plan will be revealed by the new PM after his election on Friday, but basically it revolves around the National Sustainable Development Plan or The People’s Plan, which was agreed on by all political groupings throughout the country.

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