The continuous hunting tactics for Vanuatu Members of Parliament (MPs)-elect in a bid to shore up numbers as the first sitting of Parliament on Friday draws closer has reached a point where it is harrassment.
The above remark was made by former Prime Minister Sato Kilman after their media press conference to confirm their numbers that they are ready to elect a new Prime Minister (PM) and 13 new ministers on Friday this week.
“I think it is time our colleagues at the Iririki Camp accept that they do not have the numbers,” he said, urging the Loughman-led camp at Iririki to accept defeat and get ready to play their role as the Opposition in the country’s 13th Legislature.
Local media made several unsuccessful attempts to get a response from the Iririki Camp. However, the Iririki Camp Manager and a winning candidate in the Tanna constituency, Simil Johnson, said they also remain solid with the support of 22 elected representatives.
Kilman, a former PM and President of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) who was re-elected in the Malekula constituency during the snap election on 13 October 2022 was the designated spokesman in the Aquana Camp.
He said their numbers remain solid at 30 winning candidates, against 22 in the Irririki Camp led by caretaker PM Bob Loughman.
Kilman said they have maintained their numbers for the last two weeks amidst the hunt for the new elected political representatives to join the other camp.
“We will form the next government, there are a lot of talks and political negotiators trying to hijack MPs-elect to the other camp,” he said.
“My view is that this is not healthy. We have the numbers and we will elect the new PM on Friday and a new government will form. Today there is a lot of hunting around for MPs-elect.
“It gets to a point where it is really harassment. We are leaders. We are elected by the people. We are expected to lead and we don’t need to be treated in such a way. As political leaders we need to understand and accept this.”
Daily Post received information from reliable sources that the Iririki Camp has reportedly offered the position of the PM and certain ministries to one of the political parties at the Aquana Camp, but the offer was refused.
Sources said that Aquana had closed negotiations last week and there is no room to accommodate any other winning candidates from Iririki.
There are three MPs-elect at Iririki who had defected from their party presidents at Aquana before the official declaration of winning candidates by the Electoral Commission.
According to Kilman, during their two weeks at Aquana, the political parties have drafted a ‘100-day’ Plan, which exceeds the 100-day period.
He said the plan will be revealed by the new PM after his election on Friday, but basically it revolves around the National Sustainable Development Plan or The People’s Plan, which was agreed on by all political groupings throughout the country.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS