Fate of 5 UMP parliamentarians purportedly at stake

The detained and re-elected president of the Union of Moderate Parties, Serge Vohor confirmed that yesterday 2 June was the last day given to the five Members of Parliament for UMP to officially declare their political affiliation

Their case is now handed over to the party’s disciplinary committee.

Vohor was re-elected president of the national executive committee of UMP in the second rival UMP group, after the first congress elected Jacque Nauka Meriango in the first disputed UMP congress. Both congress convened consecutively at the Lycee Lab in Port Vila last month.

Five members of parliament, who were elected under the UMP banner were reportedly aligned with the first congress headed by Mr Meriango. They were all issued letters last week by the president of the rival group, Vohor, to clarify their stand before parliament meets this month or face disciplinary measures under the party constitution. Earlier this year, the five UMP members were led by Meriango to defect from opposition to the government side leaving UMP member for Port Vila, Ishmael Kalsakau alone in the leadership role of the opposition side.

Speaking from behind bars, Vohor, who claims to be heading the legitimate UMP group, said the Union of Moderate Parties is in the Opposition and he wants the five MPs namely, Jerome Ludvaune, Jack Norris, Kalo Simeon, Nakou Natuman and Tom Kerr to officially declare their political affiliations before the parliament sits for its next session.

Earlier, the Vohor executive had announced the expulsion of four prominent UMP leaders for allegedly working outside the interest of the UMP.

The Vohor-led congress on 25 May 2016 had also resolved that the first purported UMP congress that convened on 20 May 2016 is null and void – a decision that is disputed by the Meriango UMP group.

According to party constitution, the disciplinary committee can pronounce the exclusion of any parliamentarians who leaves the party without resigning from the electoral mandate that he detains in the name of the party.


Pic: UMP congress at Lycee Lab


Harold Obed