Former Vanuatu PM Salwai’s party to boycott parliament session

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Reunification of Movements for Change party leader Charlot Salwai
Reunification of Movements for Change party leader Charlot Salwai ... seeks civil society consultation over constitutional amendments. Image: RNZ/Hilaire Bule

RNZ Pacific

In Vanuatu, one key party in the government says it will boycott tomorrow’s planned session of Parliament.

That session is due to consider several constitutional amendments and the leader of the Reunification of Movements for Change party, former Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, said there had been no consultation with civil society.

Salwai’s party became part of the Bob Loughman coalition in November last year but he said chiefs and people in the villages needed to be consulted before the bill was introduced.

He said it was the people’s constitution and they had the right to have their say before approval by Parliament.

The planned changes include:

  • extending the parliamentary term from four to five years,
  • allowing cabinet to have 17 members — up from the current 13,
  • involving mayors in the selection process for the head of state, and
  • amendments that will allow a broader definition of who qualifies for citizenship.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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