Vanuatu PM

Vanuatu PM appoints his cabinet

Of the 12 ministers, 10 have already served under former prime minister Ishmael Kalsakau's government.

Among the new ministerial appointments are MP of Port Vila, Ralph Regenvanu as minister of climate change; MP of Luganville, Matai Seremaia as minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade Corporation and external trade; and MP of Ambae, John Still Tari Qetu as minister of health.

Prime Minister Salwai said he would appoint his new Deputy Prime Minister shortly.


Vanuatu PM Kilman loses majority and faces defeat in Friday vote

The opposition held 26 MPs against the government’s 24 with only two government MPs, — Esmon Saimon from the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) representing Malekula, and Wesley Rasu from Malo constituency — present during the extraordinary session on Monday.

The remaining 22 government MPs boycotted the session, denying a quorum.

Parliamentary Speaker Seoule Simeon suspended the session until this Friday for the no-confidence motion debate and the election of a new prime minister.

New Vanuatu PM wants to 'revisit' Australia security pact

The deal, which includes closer cooperation with Australia on defense, border security, policing and aviation safety, was a major factor behind the ouster of former leader Ishmael Kalsakau, who had tried to expand Vanuatu's international ties after winning a general election in November.

Kilman, who came to power on Monday in a secret ballot after Kalsakau lost a no-confidence vote, said it was unlikely the deal would be ratified by parliament as it stands.

Sato Kilman elected as Vanuatu's new prime minister

Kilman received a total of 27 votes, while Kalsakau got 23 votes.

Kilman, 65, was the deputy PM in Kalsakau's government before being removed in May. At the time Kalsakau had stated that Kilman's dismissal was for "stability of the coalition government".

"Mr speaker first and foremost I want to say a big thank you to the members of parliament and the political parties that supported the change in government. Thank you," he said.

"But thank you even more for standing your ground and for ensuring that democracy prevails in Vanuatu."

Vanuatu's PM fails to push through constitutional changes, again

These include extending the term of parliament, changing the definition of a Vanuatu citizen, and increasing the size of Cabinet by nearly a third.

A second session of parliament on Friday was adjourned because of a lack of MPs.

Prime Minister Bob Loughman wants to push through at least 15 constitutional changes which the opposition and some MPs in both his coalition and his own Vanuaaku Pati oppose.

On Friday there were only 31 of the 52 MPs present.

For a constitutional change a minimum of 34 MPs is needed.

Appeal to be lodged in case against Vanuatu PM and government MPs

On Monday, the Vanuatu Supreme Court ruled that Bob Loughman and his colleagues would be allowed to retain their seats ending months of political uncertainty.

Their seats were declared vacant earlier this year by the former speaker of parliament after government MPs staged walk-outs over three consecutive sitting days of parliament.

The Supreme Court ruling on Monday overturning the speaker's declaration centred on vagueness in the use of the term 'absence' in the parliamentary standing orders.

Vanuatu PM wins confidence vote

The motion was deposited by the opposition leader, Ralph Regenvanu, citing six main reasons for seeking to remove the prime minister, most relating to alleged excessive and unwarranted spending by government.

Loughman won the confidence vote with the support of 27 MPs in the 52-seat parliament.

"This government is doing what it should do under the constitution," he told parliament while defending his government's performance.

Former Vanuatu prime minister found guilty of perjury

The Supreme Court found Salwai had misled the court when he said the Council of Ministers had approved a decision to create parliamentary secretary positions.

The case was brought by then-opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau in November 2019, who said the council had never approved it.

During the trial however Kalsakau, who is now Deputy Prime Minister, admitted the council had approved the posts in 2013 but only for the Office of the Prime Minister and not for other ministries as Salwai had claimed.

Vanuatu PM testifies against his predecessor

Loughman appeared as one of 15 witnesses.

In relation to special appointments made by the prime minister, he told the court that it has to be approved by the Council of Ministers.

Loughman was brought by the prosecution to testify on the charge of perjury against Mr Salwai.

The events date back to 2016 when Salwai appointed a number of parliamentary secretaries.

Last year there was civil case on the constitutionality of the positions and the Appeal Court ruled that it was unconstitutional.


Vanuatu PM halts repatriations for July

Bob Loughman told the Vanuatu Daily Post since the beginning of the repatriation flights in May - 1,500 citizens and residents had been brought home.

Mr Loughman said all repatriation flight had now been stopped to allow authorities time and space to manage and screen those who had returned so far.

He said a longer term repatriation exercise was being planned for August but there would be no repatriation flights in July.