Vanuatu Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai will not tolerate political attitudes from Members of Parliament (MPs) that will destabilize the country, its economy and the people.
PM Salwai made this clear this week.
The remarks came amidst exchanges of political comments with a new political bloc led by Malekula MP Sato Kilman and supported by Opposition Leader MP Ishmael Ksalakau on a number of national issues, including the question of vacation of seats by a MP.
Speaking at a press conference this week, PM Salwai said if the country continues to face political uncertainties by various political groups or politicians engaged in what he described as “political instability”, then he will seek the Council of Minister (COM)’s approval with the view of requesting the Head of State to dissolve the national parliament.
“If the country continues to experience political instability ride, and worse comes to worse, then i will seek a decision from the Council of Ministers and approval for the Head of State to dissolve the parliament and call for fresh general elections,” he said.
“It will be then that the current MPs will have to prove themselves before their electors, if they had done anything concrete to improve the life of the people economically and socially.”
The prime minister said he is more concerned about the welfare of the people.
“I am more concerned about the welfare of the people,” he said.
“About women who are seen carrying firewood to support their families, others struggling to make Vt20 from their stalls to support their families, students and their education, economic and social issues. I am more concerned about government departments not going enough to control employment permits, about far too many foreign laborers coming into the country, about getting more Ni-Vans into businesses they could and should do.
“These are the issues that past governments have failed to handle properly.
“My government addressing these issues.”
He noted that life is becoming more and more difficult, with a clear indication of different classes of living — the rich, the middle class and those barely make a living.
“I want to see these situations change to improve the livelihood of the people and for them to be equal economically, which is why we need a tax regime, which is not yet in place,” said PM Salwai.
“It will be then that the current MPs will have to tell their electors what they have done for their country. And it should be clear that the people do not need someone to tell them if an MP has performed satisfactorily during their term or not.”
He emphasized the importance of restoring confidence with business and development partners, adding it takes time, especially after the country has gone through a political crisis such as more votes of no confidence and changes in the government.
On promoting tourism in Vanuatu, prime minister Salwai said once the runway extension to the Baurefield airport is completed, the government will want to see direct flights from China to Vanuatu with Chinese tourists who will be prepared to inject money directly into the national economy.
“We want Chinese tourists who will arrive into Vanuatu by air to actually spend money in the country, instead of large quantity of tourists who come into Vanuatu but spend little money and leave,” said PM Salwai.