18 Jan 2012

Vanuatu: Salwai given sacked Regenvanu's justice portfolio

10:45 am on 18 January 2012

Vanuatu's Prime Minister Sato Kilman has appointed the MP for the Pentecost constiituency, Charlot Salwai, to the position of Justice Minister.

The vice president of the Union of Moderate Parties replaces Ralph Regenvanu, who was sacked on Monday.

Mr Kilman says it was not easy to fire Mr Regenvanu but he has the constitutional power to do so and it is part of democracy.

In welcoming Mr Salwai to cabinet, Mr Kilman told his ministers he expects them to perform well for the interests of Vanuatu's people.

He hasn't given a reason for Mr Regenvanu's termination.

There is speculation that the prime minister is unhappy that Mr Regenvanu has been opposed to moves to join the World Trade Organisation.

Our correspondent says it's expected that Mr Kilman will remove at least two more ministers before the October general election.