5 Jun 2015

Vanuatu foreign minister Kilman sacked

8:39 am on 5 June 2015

Vanuatu's prime minister Joe Natuman has sacked the foreign minister Sato Kilman.

Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman

Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman Photo: UN.org

This comes after Mr Kilman indicated he was prepared to support a motion of no confidence in the prime minister, which could potentially be lodged for the ordinary sitting of parliament next week.

Another MP from Mr Kilman's People's Progress Party, Isaac Hamariliu of Epi has been sacked as Government Whip.

The prime minister's spokesman, Kiery Manassah, says that Mr Kilman was asked if he still supported the Natuman-led coalition government.

"And he said that he wanted to go, that if there was a motion he would vote for it, and so the prime minister has simply acted on his wishes and terminated him. So the prime minister will need to find a replacement for him."

Kiery Manassah says there had been questions over Sato Kilman's commitment to the re-unification process for the parties which split away from the Vanua'aku Pati since the 1990s.

He also says some of Mr Kilman's representations as foreign minister on the issue of West Papua did not reflect the government's position.

Meanwhile, the Daily Post reports that 19 opposition MPs are to face bribery charges this month over police claims regarding opposition leader Moana Carcasses and his attempts to lobby support to topple the prime minister.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs