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UMP to head new government
Three former prime ministers signed a pact Monday afternoon at Parliament House that will see the President of Union of Moderate Parties, Rialuth Serge Vohor, take the reins of power once the Opposition sponsored motion of 'No Trust' is successful.
Vanua’aku Pati President Edward Natapei, Vanuatu Republican Party President Maxime Carlot Korman and UMP President Vohor, all former Vanuatu prime ministers, are confident Prime Minister Sato Kilman will be toppled Friday.
“We now have 28 Members of Parliament. But by Friday this week we should have more MPs on our side,” UMP President Vohor told members of the public who witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.
And VP President Natapei, who current PM Kilman snatched power from him after he was airborne on a flight to Australia, said as Opposition Leader he met with the Head of State, President Iolu Abbil regarding the dissolution of Parliament, but the Head of State assured him he will not dissolve.
“Unless the situation was serious, for example an impasse in the process of electing a new PM then the President would consider the option but otherwise he would allow democracy prevail,” Opposition Leader Natapei said.
Speaker of Parliament Mr Korman said as President of the VRP he was assured by the Prime Minister Kilman that VRP would be given two ministerial portfolios and the Speaker. “It never happened and we are happy to enter negotiations to form another government,” the VRP President said.
Daily Post asked Mr Korman after the signing whether his Secretary General, Agriculture Minister Marcellino Pipite, would follow along with what he as President of VRP signed.
“He and others will follow suit. Otherwise he (Minister Pipite) is deemed to have resigned from the party,” Mr Korman said.
President of NCA Mr Saby Natonga too signed the VRP/VP/UMP/NCA pact witnessed by President of Namangi Aute MP Paul Telukluk, Vete Movement President MP David Abel, and Deputy Opposition Leader NCA MP Patrick Crowby.
The Speaker of Parliament has already given notice for the calling of Parliament to debate a motion of no trust on Prime Minister Kilman in Friday, February 18.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kilman is adamant he still has the numbers. And the PM will be using the two vacant ministries of public works and education to lure disgruntled Opposition MPs who may not get to become ministers in the new government.