Nariamel Spokesman, Jeff Patunvanu

Nariamel Spokesman, Jeff Patunvanu

By Godwin Ligo

The Nagriamel Political Movement has severed its ties with the Union of the Moderate Parties (UMP).

The decision was made during its 7th Congress in Ndui Ndui, West Ambae.

It has decided to move into the future with its own vision and political philosophy, rather than under an umbrella party.

“The Nagriamel Political Movement, along with other moderate political parties agreed to unite under one umbrella at the Walarano Meeting in North Malekula some years ago, but the vision of working together has shattered by some breaking away while others choosing political paths that no longer reflect the true spirit of the Walarano vision,” the Nagriamel national spokesperson Jeff Patunvanu, told the Daily Post yesterday.

“It is for this and other reasons that prompted Nagriamel to sever ties with UMP, because we cannot have a strong case on policies we believe in when you must always live on political compromises,” said Patunvanu.

Speaking about land issues in Vanuatu, the Nagriamel national spokesman said the political movement can no longer accept the massive sale of land taking places throughout the country particularly in the urban and semi-urban sectors of Vanuatu.

“The Nagriamel was founded on the principles of defending customary land from sale to foreigners and the Movement had a trust in the independence leaders that call for the return of all customary land to return to rightful customary owners. But the land sale situation in Vanuatu today has reached the point where urban and customary land including islets are being sold out to foreigners , even on the internet,” he said.

“This is exactly the policy that the Nagriamel disagrees with and movement will continue to pressure the national government to curb sale of land to foreigners, except for the genuine benefits for the people of Vanuatu.”

Patunvanu, said amongst the important resolutions passed, was the position of the President of the Political Commissar retained by John Lum, the former MP which was approved by the Nagriamel Upper Council.

The Nagriamel Political Movement Presidency is retained by Abel Nako, a long-time political movement leader in that position.

“The Nagriamel major focus now is preparing itself for the 2020 national parliamentary elections,” he said.

“We aim to secure three seats in parliament after the 2020 national general elections, but could win another, but we must consolidate and go for 3 seats for sure, rather than work on illusions,” he said.

He confirmed over 1,000 delegates from around Vanuatu attended the 7th Congress.

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