Dismantling Government for personal interest unfair: Vanuatu PM


Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman, said he believes some of the Members of Parliament (MPs) who moved to the Opposition side were unhappy because the government was slow to increase their allowances and allocations. Changing side and forming a motion to destroy the government because of this reason is unfair and unjustifiable, he said Monday.

PM Loughman explained that the government needs to generate more revenue to meet the requests of those MPs. “We can do that progressively, but we have to firstly earn enough,” he said.

The Head of the Government said instead of switching sides, the MPs should raise their concerns within to allow for discussion to find a solution. Dismantling the government for an individual MP’s interest is unjust, he said.

The MPs have the right to change affiliation, however they should not be doing it for personal interest but public interest, he said.

The PM confirmed he met with the Head of State, Nikenike Vurobaravu, on Sunday regarding the Council of Ministers’ decision for dissolution of parliament, based on economic grounds.

“The government sees it fit to ask for a dissolution and not allow political instability to drain out the country’s budget. Our economic base cannot support frequent instability therefore, it is proper we return to election whereby we will be given new mandates by our people,” he stressed.

Loughman said he is concerned about the country’s economic activities, as huge amounts of money have been spent on COVID-19 crisis, natural disasters like cyclone Harold and ash fall, new hospital facilities and airport upgrade.

Loughman said there is no guarantee that there will be no further political instability, as those MPs who rebelled against the government have moved to the Opposition individually and not as a party, and are likely to do that again.

He brushed aside public criticisms about his political party, Vanua’aku Pati (VP), taking control of prominent positions in government. He said individuals in those positions have to meet certain requirements to get the jobs.

The PM thanked everyone for keeping the government and nation in prayers, and also for unity despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.