Prime Minister of Vanuatu

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Prime Minister of Vanuatu
Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg
Coat of Arms of Vanuatu
Charlot Salwai 2010.jpg
Incumbent
Charlot Salwai

since 11 February 2016
Term length for as long as the Prime Minister has the confidence of Parliament
Inaugural holder Walter Lini
30 July 1980
Formation Constitution of Vanuatu
30 July 1980
Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Vanuatu

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu is the head of government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

The office of Prime Minister was created under the Constitution of Vanuatu upon the country's independence in 1980, with independence campaigner Walter Lini becoming the first office-holder. The position is sometimes seen as a continuation of the older office of Chief Minister, which existed before Vanuatu obtained its independence. The Prime Minister is required by the Constitution to be a member of Parliament, which also directly elects him or her into office. The Prime Minister directly appoints or dismisses members of the Council of Ministers (cabinet ministers).

So far ten people have served as Prime Minister of Vanuatu, some on multiple occasions.

Disputes

In November 2009, Prime Minister Edward Natapei was briefly declared by the Speaker to have lost his seat over a procedural technicality. The courts invalidated the ruling, and Natapei regained his seat, and thus the premiership.[1][2]

Serge Vohor's fourth term in office, from April to May 2011, is included in the list below, although his election to the premiership was voided as unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal on 13 May, on the grounds that he had been elected only by a majority of Members of Parliament (26 out of 52)[clarification needed], not by an absolute majority. Ralph Regenvanu, who regained his position as Minister for Justice after the annulment of Vohor's premiership, stated: "Prime Minister Serge Vohor and his cabinet are illegal, null and void and were never the government of the country."[3]

Similarly, Sato Kilman's term is included although it was also voided, by a ruling from Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek on 16 June 2011, finding that Kilman's election in December 2010 had not been in conformity with the requirements for a secret parliamentary ballot set out in article 41 of the Constitution. Thus, following Edward Natapei's ousting in a valid motion of no confidence in December 2010, Vanuatu had no lawfully constituted government until Natapei was restored in June with instructions from the court to convene Parliament for the election of a Prime Minister.[4][5] This was done on 26 June, resulting in Sato Kilman's election to the premiership by Parliament – his first legally recognised term as Prime Minister.[6]

List of Prime Ministers

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Election Term Affiliation
1 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Walter Lini
(1942–1999)
1 30 July 1980

6 September 1991
Vanua'aku Pati
2 1983
3 1987
2 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Donald Kalpokas
(1943–)
1 6 September 1991

16 December 1991
Vanua'aku Pati
3 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Maxime Carlot Korman
(1942–)
1 1991 16 December 1991

21 December 1995
Union of Moderate Parties
4 Rialuth Serge Vohor (Imagicity 1307) (cropped).jpg Serge Vohor
(1955–)
1 1995 21 December 1995

23 February 1996
Union of Moderate Parties
(3) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Maxime Carlot Korman
(1942–)
2 23 February 1996

30 September 1996
Union of Moderate Parties
(4) Rialuth Serge Vohor (Imagicity 1307) (cropped).jpg Serge Vohor
(1955–)
2 30 September 1996

30 March 1998
Union of Moderate Parties
(2) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Donald Kalpokas
(1943–)
2 1998 30 March 1998

25 November 1999
Vanua'aku Pati
5 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Barak Sopé
(1955–)
25 November 1999

13 April 2001
Melanesian Progressive Party
6 Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei
(1954–2015)
1 13 April 2001

29 July 2004
Vanua'aku Pati
2 2002
(4) Rialuth Serge Vohor (Imagicity 1307) (cropped).jpg Serge Vohor
(1955–)
3 2004 29 July 2004

11 December 2004
Union of Moderate Parties
7 Ham Lini.jpg Ham Lini
(1951–)
11 December 2004

22 September 2008
National United Party
(6) Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei
(1954–2015)
3 2008 22 September 2008

27 November 2009
Vanua'aku Pati
Rialuth Serge Vohor (Imagicity 1307) (cropped).jpg Serge Vohor
(1955–)
Acting Prime Minister
27 November 2009

5 December 2009
Union of Moderate Parties
(6) Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei
(1954–2015)
4 5 December 2009

2 December 2010
Vanua'aku Pati
8 Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman
(1957–)
1 2 December 2010

24 April 2011
People’s Progressive Party
(4) Rialuth Serge Vohor (Imagicity 1307) (cropped).jpg Serge Vohor
(1955–)
4 24 April 2011

13 May 2011
Union of Moderate Parties
(8) Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman
(1957–)
2 13 May 2011

16 June 2011
People’s Progressive Party
Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei
(1954–2015)
Acting Prime Minister
16 June 2011

26 June 2011
Vanua'aku Pati
(8) Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman
(1957–)
3 26 June 2011

23 March 2013
People’s Progressive Party
4 2012
9 Moana Carcasses Kalosil 2013 (cropped).jpg Moana Carcasses Kalosil
(1963–)
23 March 2013

15 May 2014
Green Confederation
10 Joe Natuman 2014 (cropped).jpg Joe Natuman
(1952–)
15 May 2014

11 June 2015
Vanua'aku Pati
(8) Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman
(1957–)
5 11 June 2015

11 February 2016
People’s Progressive Party
11 Charlot Salwai 2010.jpg Charlot Salwai
(1963–)
2016 11 February 2016

Incumbent
Reunification Movement for Change

See also

References

  1. ^ "Natapei retains seat: CJ rules", Vanuatu Daily Post, 7 December 2009[dead link]
  2. ^ "PM Natapei defeats motion with 36 MPs", Vanuatu Daily Post, 11 December 2009[dead link]
  3. ^ "Vanuatu Court decision results in change of government", ABC Radio Australia, 13 May 2011
  4. ^ "Vanuatu Court rules Kilman election void, reinstates Natapei as interim PM". Radio New Zealand International. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Supreme Declared Natapei, Acting Prime Minister", Government of Vanuatu, 16 June 2011[dead link]
  6. ^ "Kilman elected Vanuatu PM - ten days after ouster by court". Radio New Zealand International. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
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