Donald Kalpokas

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Donald Kalpokas
Prime Minister of Vanuatu
In office
30 March 1998 – 25 November 1999
PresidentJean-Marie Léyé
Edward Natapei (Acting)
John Bani
Preceded bySerge Vohor
Succeeded byBarak Sopé
In office
6 September 1991 – 16 December 1991
PresidentFrederick Karlomuana Timakata
Preceded byWalter Lini
Succeeded byMaxime Carlot Korman
Personal details
Donald Masike'Vanua Kalpokas

(1943-08-23)23 August 1943
Lelepa Island, New Hebrides
Died20 March 2019(2019-03-20) (aged 75)
Lelepa Island, Vanuatu
Political partyVanua'aku Pati

Donald Masike'Vanua Kalpokas (23 August 1943 – 20 March 2019) was a Vanuatuan politician and diplomat who served as Prime Minister of Vanuatu twice.


Kalpokas was born on Efate island. Along with Walter Lini he founded the Vanua'aku Pati a political party which supported political independence for Vanuatu, socialist policies, and drew most of its support from Vanuatu's English-speaking population. Vanuatu did gain independence in 1980, with Lini as the country's first prime minister. Kalpokas became foreign minister of Vanuatu in 1983 but gave up this position after a few months. He again became foreign minister in 1987, this time remaining in that post for four years.

On 6 September 1991, Kalpokas and some other members of the Vanua'aku Pati defected from Lini's government and supported a no-confidence vote against him. Kalpokas then became the prime minister, to remain in office until after parliamentary elections. The elections resulted in the opposition Union of Moderate Parties taking control of the government, and Kalpokas left office on 16 December 1991. The split in the Vanua'aku Party would remain permanent, as Lini left to start another political party.

In March 1998, following parliamentary elections which resulted in gains for the Vanua'aku Pati and Lini's National United Party, Kalpokas and Lini formed a coalition government. Kalpokas took office as prime minister again on 30 March 1998. He also became foreign minister for a third time but soon gave up this post. Lini died in February 1999, but the government continued. It collapsed in November 1999 when Kalpokas resigned as prime minister to prevent a no-confidence vote.

In 2001, after nearly a decade as leader of the Vanua'aku Pati, Kalpokas gave up the party leadership. He served as Speaker of the Parliament from May 2001 to May 2002. In August 2004, he was a candidate to become President of Vanuatu, and received 26 votes in the first round but then withdrew as it became clear that he would not be able to gain enough support.

In November 2007, he was appointed as Vanuatu's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.[1]

Kalpokas died following several days with a bout of ill health on 20 March 2019, at the age of 75.[2]


  1. ^ United Nations website Archived 24 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "A founding father of Vanuatu dies". Radio New Zealand. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.