24 Nov 2015

Vanuatu PM urged to form unitary govt or step down

7:09 am on 24 November 2015
Joe Natuman outside court.

Joe Natuman outside court. Photo: RNZI / Hilaire Bule

Vanuatu's opposition says the Prime Minister should step down if he can't agree to form a unitary government to last until next year's election.

Prime Minister Sato Kilman has been meeting with the opposition for weeks to try and resolve a political impasse, which began after 14 government MPs were last month jailed for bribery.

The President, Baldwin Lonsdale, had set Sunday as the deadline for the impasse to be resolved, but he is yet to announce any action.

However, the speaker has now called parliament to sit on the 14th of December to pass a budget.

A leading opposition MP, Joe Natuman, says it's in the best interests of Vanuatu that the budget is passed and parliament is not dissolved, and he insists that Mr Kilman agree to work with him.

"The president himself requested us - the oppositon and the government - to come up with some arrangement to have a stable government and we have done our part, the opposition, we went to speak to the prime minister, even this morning, regarding some proposals but the prime minister has rejected that and is trying to get the parliament dissolved."

Joe Natuman says if Sato Kilman can't govern or work with the opposition, then he should stand down.

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