While Vanuatu’s coalition Government, led by Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau, is currently working on its response and recovery process following the severe impacts of Tropical Cyclones (TCs) Judy and Kevin, there are allegations of a motion of no confidence by the Opposition bloc to topple the government.
In the past few weeks, there have been allegations that the Opposition bloc will be lodging a motion of no confidence against the government, which will be debated during the First Extraordinary Session of Parliament. However, the Leader of the Opposition, Bob Loughman, denied these allegations.
Earlier this week, there were allegations that the National United Party (NUP) would disassociate itself from the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP)-led coalition government and join the Opposition bloc to file a motion of no confidence. However, the NUP President and Minister of Education and Training, Bruno Leingkone, denied these allegations.
Leingkone stated that he was aware that an MP from his political party had been attending meetings with the Opposition bloc but confirmed that his action was not authorized by his party. He further added that NUP had pledged to work with the current government for a four-year term, and what the MP did was not in the best interest of his political party.
The NUP won four seats in Parliament in the snap election on October 13, 2022. One of its MPs, Mr. Sanick Assang from the Malekula Constituency, whose election is challenged in an election petition, has been allegedly sighted meeting with the Opposition bloc in the past few weeks.
The Reunification Movement for Change (RMC), another partner in the coalition government, has confirmed that it has no intention of supporting a motion of no confidence during this time of crisis.
The President of RMC, Charlot Salwai, confirmed to Daily Post this week that he would respect the pledge with the coalition government, as well as the custom ceremony between UMP and RMC on February 21 2023, in his home village at Melsisi, Central Pentecost.
A reliable source within the Opposition bloc confirmed that discussions have been ongoing with MP Sanick to sign a non-confidence motion only if the two election petitioners, who are former Vanua’aku Pati candidates in the Malekula constituency, withdraw the election petition.
The two petitioners are former Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Gregoire Nimbtik and Chief Kerry Vinbel.
The current Opposition bloc in parliament reportedly has 21 MPs, and they will need seven more MPs to sign a motion of no confidence and vote for the motion to topple the Kalsakau-led coalition government in this Extraordinary Session of Parliament.
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