21 Jun 2011

Vanuatu to review stance on Fiji chairmanship of MSG

8:07 pm on 21 June 2011

Vanuatu's Foreign Minister says the Melanesian Spearhead Group constitution isn't clear on whether an unelected government like Fiji's should hold the group's chairmanship.

As Foreign Minister before the removal of the Natapei government last December, Joe Natuman had opposed the transferral of the MSG chairmanship to Fiji.

He said that provisions on democracy, rule of law and good governance in the MSG constitution meant Fiji's unelected government couldn't take up the role.

But since he has resumed his ministerial role, and after Fiji has assumed the chairmanship following a MSG reconciliation process, Mr Natuman says his government's stance will be reviewed.

"These are the issues that we might need to look at and maybe then refer to the constitution and maybe, for Fiji purposes, looking at the MSG constitution and making amendments or decisions to avoid any future, you know, things arising whereby we face a similar situation. We should have a clear constitution on this issue and at the moment it's not."

Joe Natuman