OPINION: By Bob Makin in Port Vila
The agenda item concerning the motion of no confidence in Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas failed to obtain a full hearing this afternoon in Parliament.
Everyone was there, a further 8 withdrew their signatures, but the Speaker ruled the matter could be taken no further when all there seemed to be was bickering from the supporters of the motion.
We the public were not given a single reason to reduce our confidence in the leader of the government, nor was our trust in him diminished. But the Opposition wasted an hour of everyone’s time trying to get a chance to bring him down.
The motion was trashed. The second extraordinary sitting was closed.
It is ironic that the PM Salwai is facing the first motion of no trust in his leadership in Parliament today, 24 hours after Vanuatu celebrated Unity Day.
The nation pays a high price each time the government changes.
In 2015, reliable sources told the Daily Post that government changes always resulted in over Vt9 million payout for the former ministers, first, second and third political advisers, supervisors, drivers, cleaners and other political appointees.
Nine months ago, 46 of the 52 MPs elected PM Salwai unopposed.
The first cracks in the Unity for Change coalition became obvious last month when now ousted Leader of Government Business and Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP), MP William Tasso told the Daily Post that all government backbenchers will not vote for any government bill, unless the Ministerial Budget Committee (MBC) reconsidered the Vt10 million rejected budget for each area council.
Among other issues, including allegations of different party stances on income tax, purported intentions to reshuffle certain political parties and a probe to locate certain missing funds the extent of the discontent was revealed when the Opposition Bloc, which usually commands 14 MPs surprisingly, deposited a motion.
This report is compiled from files by the Vanuatu Daily Digest and Vanuatu Daily Post.