11 Jun 2016

Vanuatu's PM remains committed to political reform

12:11 pm on 11 June 2016
A statue at the entrance to Vanuatu's parliament in the capital, Port Vila.

Vanuatu's parliament in Port Vila. Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

Vanuatu's prime minister has promised that a series of proposed amendments to the constitution will be put to a referendum, after the opposition this week boycotted parliament in protest.

Charlot Salwai's coalition government took office after a snap election in January, which followed months of political turmoil.

Vanuatu's politics has been plagued by regular no confidence motions and corruption scandals, which culminated last year when 15 government MPs, including the deputy prime minister, were jailed for corruption.

Mr Salwai has since promised a number of reforms to bring stability to Vanuatu's politics.

However, an extraordinary sitting of parliament this week had to be postponed after the opposition boycotted it in protest, meaning a quorum could not be reached.

But a determined Mr Salwai says the government remains committed to pushing through the reforms, which the public will ultimately vote on.

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