Prime Minister of Vanuatu

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Prime Minister of Vanuatu
Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg
Coat of Arms of Vanuatu
Incumbent
Joe Natuman

since 15 May 2014 (2014-05-15)
Inaugural holder Walter Lini
30 July 1980
Formation Constitution of Vanuatu
30 July 1980
Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Vanuatu

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu is the head of government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

The office of Prime Minister was created under the Constitution of Vanuatu upon the country's independence in 1980, with independence campaigner Walter Lini becoming the first office-holder. The position is sometimes seen as a continuation of the older office of Chief Minister, which existed before Vanuatu obtained its independence. The Prime Minister is required by the Constitution to be a member of Parliament, which also directly elects him or her into office. The Prime Minister directly appoints or dismisses members of the Council of Ministers (cabinet ministers).

So far, eight people have served as Prime Minister of Vanuatu, some on multiple occasions.

In November 2009, Prime Minister Edward Natapei was briefly declared by the Speaker to have lost his seat over a procedural technicality. The courts invalidated the ruling, and Natapei regained his seat, and thus the premiership.[1][2]

Serge Vohor's fourth term in office, from April to May 2011, is included in the list below, although his election to the premiership was voided as unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal on 13 May, on the grounds that he had been elected only by a majority of Members of Parliament (26 out of 52)[clarification needed], not by an absolute majority. Ralph Regenvanu, who regained his position as Minister for Justice after the annulment of Vohor's premiership, stated: "Prime Minister Serge Vohor and his cabinet are illegal, null and void and were never the government of the country."[3]

Similarly, Sato Kilman's term is included although it was also voided, by a ruling from Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek on 16 June 2011, finding that Kilman's election in December 2010 had not been in conformity with the requirements for a secret parliamentary ballot set out in article 41 of the Constitution. Thus, following Edward Natapei's ousting in a valid motion of no confidence in December 2010, Vanuatu had no lawfully constituted government until Natapei was restored in June with instructions from the court to convene Parliament for the election of a Prime Minister.[4][5] This was done on 26 June, resulting in Sato Kilman's election to the premiership by Parliament - his first legally recognised term as Prime Minister.[6]

List of Prime Ministers[edit]

Portrait Name Election Term Affiliation
1 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Walter Lini 1 30 July 1980 – 6 September 1991 Vanua'aku Pati
2 1983
3 1987
2 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Donald Kalpokas 1 6 September 1991 – 16 December 1991 Vanua'aku Pati
3 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Maxime Carlot Korman 1 1991 16 December 1991 – 21 December 1995 Union of Moderate Parties
4 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Serge Vohor 1 1995 21 December 1995 – 23 February 1996 Union of Moderate Parties
(3) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Maxime Carlot Korman 2 23 February 1996 – 30 September 1996 Union of Moderate Parties
(4) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Serge Vohor 2 30 September 1996 – 30 March 1998 Union of Moderate Parties
(2) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Donald Kalpokas 2 1998 30 March 1998 – 25 November 1999 Vanua'aku Pati
5 Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Barak Sopé 25 November 1999 – 13 April 2001 Melanesian Progressive Party
6 Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei 1 13 April 2001 – 29 July 2004 Vanua'aku Pati
2 2002
(2) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Serge Vohor 3 29 July 2004 – 11 December 2004 Union of Moderate Parties
7 Ham Lini.jpg Ham Lini 11 December 2004 – 22 September 2008 National United Party
(6) Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei 3 2008 22 September 2008 – 27 November 2009 Vanua'aku Pati
Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Serge Vohor 27 November 2009 – 5 December 2009
Acting
Union of Moderate Parties
(6) Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei 4 5 December 2009 – 2 December 2010 Vanua'aku Pati
8 Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman 1 2 December 2010 – 24 April 2011 People’s Progress Party
(4) Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Serge Vohor 4 24 April 2011 – 13 May 2011 Union of Moderate Parties
(8) Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman 2 13 May 2011 – 16 June 2011 People’s Progress Party
Edward Natapei 2009.jpg Edward Natapei 16 June 2011 – 26 June 2011
Acting
Vanua'aku Pati
(8) Sato Kilman, February 2013 (cropped).png Sato Kilman 3 26 June 2011 – 23 March 2013 People’s Progress Party
4 2012
9 Moana Carcasses Kalosil 2013 (cropped).jpg Moana Carcasses Kalosil 5 23 March 2013 – 15 May 2014 Green Confederation
10 Joe Natuman 2014 (cropped).jpg Joe Natuman 15 May 2014 – Incumbent Vanua'aku Pati

See also[edit]

References[edit]