Monday, December 6, 2010
Radio Australia has reported news from the nation of Vanuatu, where Prime Minister Edward Natapei was ousted in a vote of no confidence while he was out of the country to attend the environmental summit in Mexico.
Radio Australia reports that the new prime minister, Sato Kilman, said that the sudden change in leadership will not destabilize Vanuatu.
The Pacific Island Reports from the East-West Center in Honolulu noted that the parliamentary vote of no confidence was the seventh "no confidence" vote that he has faced in the past two years. This vote, however, was reportedly done while excluding news reporters and the general public from the parliamentary chambers during the vote. This is reportedly the first time that Vanuatuans have been denied access to the meeting of elected officials.
Mr Natapei has reportedly been in conflict with several MPs after refusing to hand over the leadership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama. Mr. Bainimarama, for his part, reportedly welcomed the ouster of his foe.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1983. It consists of four Melanesian countries, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Kanaks of New Caledonia. Its headquarters are located in in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
In an additional development reported by Radio New Zealand International, members of the newly-created opposition reportedly plan to file a motion of no confidence against the new Prime Minister, calling him a coward for engineering the the ouster of Prime Minister Edward Natapei during his absence from the country to attend the environmental summit.
Hat tips to the East-West Center, Radio Australia, and Radio New Zealand International