Possible to have a Motion of No Confidence this year: Vanuatu Opposition Leader

Vanuatu Opposition Leader Ishmael Kalsakau

The newly appointed Opposition Leader in Vanuatu and Member of Parliament for Port Vila, Ishmael Kalsakau has indicated the potential for a Motion of No Confidence against the Prime Minister if specific concerns arise. 

Kalsakau stressed the importance of handling such motions responsibly, adding the need to justify reasons for the motion. 

He mentioned that the people will find out within the next two weeks whether a motion will be submitted or not. 

Recently, the Rural Development Party (RDP) and the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) have come out with statements denying their involvement in the sponsoring of any proposed motion nor are they aware of the purported motion of No Confidence in PM Salwai. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition bloc is prepared to kickstart their 2024 activities. 

Currently, there are five Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Opposition bloc, with four from the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) and one from the Rural Development Party (RDP). 

The Leader of the Opposition is Ishmael Kalsakau, who is also the MP for Port Vila and President of UMP. 

He is not new to this position, in 2020, he served as the Opposition leader and filed a case against Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and other MPs. 

The case led to PM Salwai’s conviction. He was pardoned later on. 

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is Julia Gloria King, MP for Efate Rural, and the Opposition Whip is Blaise Sumptoh, MP for Pentecost. MP for Efate Rural, Jean-Baptiste Tama is the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and Samuel Kalpoilep, also the MP for Efate Rural, is the fifth member. 

MP Kalsakau said his group is ready to begin work next week, addressing various issues and acting as an effective opposition. 

Their goals include keeping the government in check, advocating for marginalised groups, ensuring ministries’ work responsibility, and overseeing public servants’ responsibilities to ensure effective service delivery to the people. 

The Opposition leader said that they are open to partnering with the government if it works well. 

However, they will speak out if they observe any issues. 

Their main message to authorities is that as long as they perform their duties properly, the Opposition will not interfere. 

Their focus is on promoting transparency and honesty within the government’s roles, and despite their small number, they express confidence in fulfilling their responsibilities as an effective opposition.