He was voted into the position this morning by the Unity Front Political Grouping with 33 votes. Mr Saimon defeated caretaker prime minister Sato Kilman’s nominee, Christopher Emelee who got 18 votes. There was one void vote cast.
The election of the speaker confirms that the Unity Front bloc has the upper-hand to elect the next prime minister – setting aside speculation that certain independent MPs may be defecting to the caretaker side when MPs gather inside the chamber this morning.
MP Saimon was first elected to parliament in 1998 under the Melanesian Progressive Party banner. He continued to serve under MPP until the last election when he was elected as a Vanua’aku Pati member.
Mr Saimon is a career politician. He has held various portfolios including that of the Cooperatives and ni-Vanuatu Business; agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and the portfolio for Infrastructure and Public Utilities.
Prior to his political career, Mr Saimon served as first as Secretary to the South West Bay Cooperative Society, from 1978 to 1982, then went into private business (in "retail and fishing") until 1998.
He served in office in the Malampa Province assembly from 1992 to 1996
MP Esmon Saimon is well-known in Port Vila as a ‘kava businessman” having owned a kava nakamal (the Bamboo Kava Bar) and is known as the largest single kava plantation on Southwest bay of Malekula.
Mr Saimon will now administer the election of the new deputy speaker and the new prime minister.