The opposition in Vanuatu is looking forward to taking charge of the government this Friday, promising to work for the people.

Charlot Salwai, the Leader of the Opposition, revealed his side determination to take charge of Vanuatu’s affairs in press conference, held on Monday this week.

Salwai’s statement came in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Speaker’s decision to vacate the seat of the MP for Ambrym Constituency, Bruno Leingkone, in Parliament.

He emphasised that this ruling, along with another judgment confirming the absolute number of seats in Parliament as 26 due to the vacant seat, has boosted the opposition’s confidence.

On Monday this week, the Government side boycotted the Parliament sitting, the Opposition side showed up with 27 members to debate the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Sato Kilman.

MP Salwai believed their absence from Parliament was due to the fact that they did not have enough numbers and the court ruling on the vacated seat on Monday morning. He added the Opposition group is united, even though it has been just eight months of their reign.

“I would like to thank leaders of political parties, who are in the Opposition, as well as Members of Parliament, Chiefs, church leaders, and every authority in the Republic of Vanuatu. Despite the political crisis we are going through, people have remained calm to let the process of law operate.

“The priority will be to open more dialogue and policy discussions with the members of Parliament and to hold more dialogue with the opposition as a way forward. I think there are bills in place to address the political integrity of the government.

“The opposition also welcomed an MP from the Government side who came and joined the opposition this morning, which brings the numbers up to 27. I can say that the opposition is confident to form a government on Friday,” said MP Salwai.

Former Prime Minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, also stated that the Opposition side prioritised the integrity bill and when they go into Parliament, they will put an end to those kinds of attitudes.

Meanwhile, Chiefs from Shefa Province are making an earnest appeal to politicians to put an end to political instability.

They say the people need a stable government that can positively impact the economy.

Paramount Chief Joseph Tinapuamata of Emae, Shepherds Outer Island, commented on the importance of politicians, especially national leaders, coming together and finding common ground amid the continuous political instability.

“People are tired of witnessing political drama, we want to see development in our rural areas and remote islands,” Chief Tinapuamata said.

Shefa chiefs previously protested on 04 September when Member of Parliament for the Malekula, Sato Kilman, was elected Prime Minister.

They held a banner declaring their fatigue with instability and urged PM Kilman to complete his term in the government.

Tinapuamata explained, “The protest aims to allow the government to fulfill its term and show the people the results of their votes.”

Chief Tinapuamata acknowledged that political maneuvering often recurs throughout a parliamentary term, but he stressed that this is not what the people desire. People do not want to witness politicians constantly vying for power.

He added, “While democracy is the right of every individual, politicians must remember that they are leaders, and their actions should reflect the people’s wishes.”

The ongoing instability, said Tinapuamata, hampers development, disrupts business operations, and erodes the country’s leadership and integrity.