New Vanuatu PM wants country to return to its roots
Vanuatu's new Prime Minister Joe Natuman wants the country to get back to its roots.
Joe Natuman has been elected by Parliament as Vanuatu's new Prime Minister.
This came after 35 MPs in the 52 seat House supported a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Moana Carcasses.
A member of Vanuatu's biggest political party, the Vanua'akun Pati, Mr Natuman is an MP from Tanna and the first person from that island to become prime minister.
He spoke to our correspondent Hilaire Bule about his election.
JOE NATUMAN: Basically what happened is the opposition offered the Prime Ministership to the Natapei group which was in the former Moana [Carcasses] government, they offered it to the Vanua'aku Pati. The President of our party, the honourable Nipake Edward Natapei, decided that due to health reasons he would stand aside and allow me to be selected.
HIALIRE BULE: What is your main message to the people of Vanuatu as their new Prime Minister?
JN: Basically I said what he said in a statement earlier on, because we became independent and now, in my view, we are doing things which are not what people expect of our founding fathers. Basically I want us to go back to our roots and re-direct the country and ensure that we live within our means, not to live beyond our means, unnecessary spending. We come short of money, therefore we resort to so called overseas fundraising initiatives such as selling our citizenship and our passports. So I will have to review all this, what the former government did.
HB: What about the issue of the new international project with the promissory note?
JN: With the airport, we all agree that Bauerfield Airport is already restricted. So we want a new airport to take larger, long-haul aircraft to increase our tourism. But what I am opposed to is the promissory note, the 350 million dollar promissory note, I will have to review it.
HB: Since the government of Moana Carcasses, there has been a lot of criticism of the diplomatic missions of Vanuatu, what are you going to do, will you revise Vanuatu missions overseas?
JN: Yes I think the current embassies we have overseas, I think we will try and restrict any more new missions to be staffed by Vanuatu citizens, because of our financial situation. Regarding the honorary consuls, the bill has passed parliament a few days ago. We will have to review that because I don't want people to abuse our diplomatic passports for some reasons which could be dangerous for us. For example, if some of these diplomatic passports, people we have not checked properly and they get into the wrong hands, and people are caught using diplomatic passports for some criminal activities, then Vanuatu's name will be tarnished internationally.
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