Vanuatu Clerk of Parliament, Raymond Manuake, has summoned Parliament to convene on Friday, 04 November 2022.
The summons instrument was signed by Manuake Tuesday and distributed to the 52 newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs).
Manuake said the elections of the new Speaker of Parliament; First, Second and Third Deputy Speakers as well as the Chairman of parliamentary committees are on the agenda.
As the tradition is, once elected, the new Speaker will conduct the election of the new Prime Minister (PM). Under Vanuatu’s Constitution, the Prime minister is an MP and he or she is elected by the Parliament.
After the election of the new PM, he or she will appoint his ministers. There are 13 ministries altogether.
Parliament was supposed to meet in its Second Ordinary session next month to approve the 2023 budget.
The Second Ordinary session was supposed to start on 3rd of November. However, this has been shelved because of the dissolution of Parliament on 18 of August 2022 by the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, Nikenike Vurobaravu, on the advice of the Council of Ministers under the leadership of current caretaker Prime Minister, Bob Loughman.
Meanwhile, Vanuatu caretaker deputy Prime Minister and President of the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP), Ishmael Kalsakau, has emphasised the solidarity of the group of 30 new winning candidates at the Aquana Beach Resort, Eratap.
Kalsakau told local media Tuesday that his grouping at Aquana Resort have remained solid, despite allegations that some new Members of Parliament (MPs) have signed another pact to form a new coalition following the official declaration of winning candidates by the Electoral Commission during the weekend.
The official results have been published in the Official Gazette by the State Law Office. He said since they started camping at Aquana, their number remains stable at 30 new MPs-elect.
“We are solid,” he stressed.
The President of Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV) and re-elected MP of Tanna Constituency, Jotham Napat, said the presence of former Prime Ministers – Charlot Salwai and Sato Kilman-with them is a plus to run the next new government.
The President of Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP), Ralph Regenvanu, who secured the second seat in the Port Vila constituency, said his party chose to be at Aquana because ‘tomorrow’s government’ will be a good government.
The President of the Reunification of Movement for Change (RMC) and a former PM, Salwai, who secured the first on Pentecost said there is only one RMC and the party has never signed another pact to form another new government.
The President of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) which won two of the 52 seats in Parliament, Kilman, confirmed the support of his party at the Aquana camp to form the new coalition government. There are eight political parties who are currently at this camp. On the question of how eight political parties are going to maintain stability in the next 4-year term, they said loyalty and trust are keys to having a stable government.
Local media were told that leaders of the political parties haven’t finalised the sharing of ministerial portfolios, and which party will head the next government.
They appeal to the public not to rely on social media, and to wait patiently for parliament to present a new government next week.
President of the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP), Ishmael Kalsakau, said he expects the two UMP Members Parliament (MPs) in the Loughman-led camp at Iririki Resort to join them once they meet in parliament.
He said the UMP constitution stipulates that once they enter parliament and sit on the other side, they automatically remove themselves from the party.
He said there will be consequences if they choose not to join them.
When contacted by Daily Post last night, UMP MP-elect Harry Anthony Iaris said he welcomes any decision taken by the party in this regard. The other UMP MP-elect, Andrew Samuel Kalpoilep, could not be reached for comment.
Kalsakau said their camp at Aquana Resort is solid and they are confident of forming and leading the new government for the next four years.
He said they have decided to tighten security at the camp and stop all communication with the other group, as a show of unity and loyalty in their group.
President of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Sato Kilman, said it is time the other camp accept that they do not have the numbers.
President of the Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV), Jotham Napat, clarified that a post circulated on Facebook indicating that they have already shared portfolios does not come from them, as they are yet to do that.
Tuesday’s press conference was addressed by presidents of all parties at Aquana Resort. They all pledged loyalty to their agreement.