Reconciliations mark Vanua'aku Pati direction
The Vanua'aku Pati continues to reconcile with other national parties in the Vanuatu's fragmented parliament.
Vanuatu's largest and oldest political party, the Vanua'aku Pati, continues to reconcile with other national parties in the country's fragmented parliament.
The VP has recently undertaken reconciliations with the People's Progressive Party and the National United Party.
The VP President Edward Natapei says the next reconciliation, planned for next month, is with the Melanesian Progressive Party.
Mr Natapei spoke to Johnny Blades who asked him if reconciling meant that the VP is resuming a working relationship with these other groupings.
EDWARD NATAPEI: Yes as a start because we need to take this issue back to our separate congresses, the meetings and then once each party has decided at the congress, we will start working on a new constitution and also come up with some ideas as to whether or not to change the name or leave it as Vanua'aku Pati or adopt one other, different name. But that will come up later. At the moment, the reconciliation allows us to start working together and start making plans on an eventual reunification. That's the next stage.
JOHNNY BLADES: Is this the same with the People's Progressive Party and the National United Party, you've started a process opening the way for a possible merger?
EN: Yes, that's generally the understanding between the leaders of the parties at the moment. And... we have reconciled with the MPP, we will bring some of the members into the committee to work on the reunification.
JB: Is this part of your aim for political reform in general, is this something that maybe complements the legislation that I understand might be coming through in this parliament at some point?
EN: Yes, that's generally... there's so many political parties and to also pave the way for legislation that will be the integrity bill and also cover registration of political parties and deals with people crossing the floor within parliament, just to ensure that we bring about stability in the country again.
JB: And how do you feel about the new configuration of government? You've been a key player and a Prime Minister over quite a number of years and you've been in certain governments. How do you feel about this one and its prospects?
EN: Well, I think with the numbers that we have, we should be able to hold this government for the rest of the term of parliament. I decided that it was my turn to take a break and give the opportunity to the vice-president of the party [Joe Natuman, the current Prime Minister] because, well, in the last government I was deputy Prime Minister and this time around I thought he should be given the opportunity to run the government and be in government for a change... I've taken my turn, more or less. So if, between the two of us, we can share this load out, that's a good thing for our party.
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