1 Aug 2013

Parties in Vanuatu to hold talks on improving political stability

4:31 am on 1 August 2013

A Vanuatu MP Ralph Regenvanu says a paper has been prepared ahead of the next parliamentary session later this month outlining a number of options to improve political integrity and stability.

The Minister of Lands says the Prime Minister Moana Carcasses will be calling for the attendance of all presidents of political parties represented in the current legislature to discuss proposals for reforming the political system.

Mr Regenvanu says agreement will need to be reached by all parties on what measures should be taken, which could include requiring political parties to register in accordance to specific criteria.

He says another option on the agenda is to give the party who wins the greatest number of seats the mandate to choose a prime minister, and cutting down on party hopping is a priority.

"If an MP wants to defect from a party they actually have to go back to bi-election because they were elected under a party ticket and have to give the voters the opportunity to decide whether they wish to elect them on a different party ticket."

Ralph Regenvanu says if changes are agreed to by all parties, they would eventually have to take them to a referendum as it would require changes to the constitution.