Donald Kalpokas

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Donald Kalpokas
Prime Minister of Vanuatu
In office
30 March 1998 – 25 November 1999
President Jean-Marie Léyé
Edward Natapei (Acting)
John Bani
Preceded by Serge Vohor
Succeeded by Barak Sopé
In office
6 September 1991 – 16 December 1991
President Frederick Karlomuana Timakata
Preceded by Walter Lini
Succeeded by Maxime Carlot Korman
Personal details
Born 23 August 1943
Efate, Vanuatu
Political party Vanua'aku Pati

Donald Masike'Vanua Kalpokas (born August 23, 1943) is a Ni-Vanuatu 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 September 6, 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 December 16, 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 March 30, 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]