New Vanuatu PM aims for unity
Vanuatu's new prime minister Charlot Salwai says it's his priority to forge unity among the country's politicians at all levels to work together for the good of the country.
Vanuatu's new prime minister Charlot Salwai says it's his priority to forge unity among the country's politicians.
Mr Salwai was elected yesterday at the first sitting of Vanuatu's new parliament following last month's snap poll.
Shortly after being elected, he spoke to our reporter in Port Vila, Hilaire Bule.
CHARLOT SALWAI: It is important to have unity. And it was shown today, to try and get together the two political blocs. This has not been happening in Vanuatu for so many years. And it was the objective of some of the new executive members of parliament. We work together to try and unify all this bloc as one leaders of the country. But we can work together. Unity is very important at all levels, in national development, in provisional development, in island level and also in village level. This is important, this is the force that we can have to work together that can provide security for development.
HILAIRE BULE: The majority of your cabinet are younger members of the parliament. Do you think that with the youngest ministers you will bring change in Vanuatu?
CS: Well, I believe. I believe because many of the young members of parliament have talents, and many also are quality persons, so I believe that they can help to run the government safely. I know that it is a big challenge but we'll try to do what we can. And I believe that thee new members, many of them have much experience in managing organisations. I believe that they can contribute to the running of the government.
HB: What will be the main priority in your government?
CS: The priority will be.. I mentioned in my speech. The government that I lead through the council of ministers will put out a list for a hundred days, so the priorities will be set next week. We'll start tomorrow to have the council of ministers to call DGs (director-generals) also to brief them on some of the important priorities. And one of them is the airport as everyone knows. We will have also others that we need to address immediately.
HB: What is your main message to the nation after your surprise election, you were elected unopposed?
CS: Well the first one is that the people of Vanuatu decided during the election... more than two-thirds of the parliamentarians are new. That's what we are trying to do: what the people decided on was change. So the change could be hard but with the commitment of each one, we can so something. So we call for unity on all levels, and what we have tried to do is have representatives of all political parties, mini or major.. the major ones in the cabinet. So it's our hope to try and unite everyone and work for the best for the country.
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