Edward Natapei

Last updated
Edward Natapei
Edward Natapei 2009.jpg
Prime Minister of Vanuatu
In office
16 June 2011 26 June 2011
President Iolu Abil
Preceded by Sato Kilman
Succeeded by Sato Kilman
In office
22 September 2008 2 December 2010
President Kalkot Mataskelekele
Maxime Carlot Korman (Acting)
Iolu Abil
Preceded by Ham Lini
Succeeded by Sato Kilman
In office
13 April 2001 29 July 2004
President John Bani
Roger Abiut (Acting)
Alfred Maseng
Roger Abiut (Acting)
Preceded by Barak Sopé
Succeeded by Serge Vohor
President of Vanuatu
In office
2 March 1999 24 March 1999
Prime Minister Donald Kalpokas
Preceded by Jean Marie Leye Lenelgau
Succeeded by John Bani
Personal details
Born17 July 1954
Futuna Island, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) [1]
Died28 July 2015(2015-07-28) (aged 61)
Port Vila, Vanuatu
Political party Vanua'aku Pati
Spouse(s)Leipaki Natapei

Edward Nipake Natapei Tuta Fanua`araki [1] [2] (17 July 1954 [3] – 28 July 2015) was a Vanuatuan politician. He was elected Prime Minister of Vanuatu on two separate occasions for two separate terms, and was previously the Minister of Foreign Affairs briefly in 1991, the acting President of Vanuatu from 2 March 1999 to 24 March 1999 (during a time in which he was the Speaker of Parliament) and Deputy Prime Minister. He was the President of the Vanua'aku Pati, a socialist, Anglophone political party.

Vanuatu Country in Oceania

Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

Prime Minister of Vanuatu position

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

A foreign minister or minister of foreign affairs is generally a cabinet minister in charge of a state's foreign policy and relations.



Natapei was first elected to Parliament in 1983. In 1996, he was elected as Speaker of Parliament, and in 1999 he was elected as President of Vanua'aku Pati. [4] In a parliamentary vote on 25 November 1999, Natapei was a candidate for the position of Prime Minister, but was defeated by Barak Sopé, receiving 24 votes against 28 for Sope. [5] When Sopé lost a vote of no confidence, Natapei became Prime Minister on 13 April 2001, receiving 27 votes in parliament, with one vote against him. [6] He retained the position after the May 2002 election. [7] Even though his party performed poorly in the July 2004 election, he was re-elected as a Member of Parliament for the Port Vila Constituency with the highest number of votes. He supported Ham Lini for the post of Prime Minister, but Lini was defeated; however, Serge Vohor was ousted in a motion of no confidence and Ham Lini was elected Prime Minister. Being Vanua'aku Party President entitled Natapei to the post of Speaker of the House, which he declined and referred to Sam Dan Avock, who was a Party Executive Member.

Barak Tame Sopé Mautamata is a ni-Vanuatu politician. He is the leader of the Melanesian Progressive Party and was, until 2008, a member of the Vanuatu parliament from the island of Efate. He was the Prime Minister of Vanuatu from 1999 until 2001, when he was deposed by Parliament in a no confidence vote.

Serge Vohor Prime Minister of Vanuatu

Rialuth Serge Vohor is a Vanuatuan politician. He hails from the largest island of Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, from Port Olry.

A motion of no-confidence, or a vote of no confidence, or confidence motion, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government. In some countries, if a no confidence motion is passed against an individual minister they have to resign along with the entire council of ministers.

Natapei became Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities in the Lini-led government in July 2005. [4] A split in Vanua'aku Pati was resolved in August 2005, and Natapei was re-elected as its President, [8] [9] receiving 124 votes against 67 for Sela Molisa. [9] In late July 2007 he became Minister of Public Utilities again, replacing Serge Vohor, as well as becoming Deputy Prime Minister. [10]

Sela Molisa is a Vanuatuan politician. He is a member of the Parliament of Vanuatu, and was briefly Minister for Trade in Serge Vohor's Cabinet from April to May 2011. Initially a member of the Vanua'aku Pati, he left the party in 2006, but had rejoined it in time for the 2008 general election.

Second term as Prime Minister (2008–2011)

Natapei was elected Prime Minister on 22 September 2008, by the Parliament of Vanuatu after three weeks of negotiations following the country's September 2nd general election. [11] Natapei received 27 of the 52 votes in Parliament to become Prime Minister for a second time and a second non-consecutive term. [11] He narrowly beat his nearest opponent, Maxime Carlot Korman, another former Vanuatu Prime Minister and the leader of the Vanuatu Republican Party, who captured 25 votes in Parliament. [11] Natapei succeeded Ham Lini as Prime Minister and headed a new coalition government encompassing his own Vanua'aku Pati, as well as Lini's National United Party, independents and several smaller political parties, such as Namangi Aute. [12]

Parliament of Vanuatu unicameralism

The Parliament is the unicameral legislative body of the Republic of Vanuatu.

2008 Vanuatuan general election

Parliamentary elections were held in Vanuatu on September 2, 2008. In July, the Melanesian Progressive Party requested that they be postponed, contesting the constitutionality of the Peoples Representation Act No. 33 of 2007, which allegedly enabled voters in certain constituencies to vote in two constituencies. The Principal Electoral Officer, Martin Tete, confirmed that the election would take place on 2 September, as scheduled. The day was declared a national holiday, to encourage people to vote.

Maxime Carlot Korman is a Vanuatuan politician, formerly serving as Speaker of the Parliament and formerly as acting President. He served as Prime minister of Vanuatu for nearly five years, first from 16 December 1991 to 21 December 1995 and again from 23 February 1996 to 30 September 1996. He was a member of the Union of Moderate Parties during his terms as prime minister, but now leads the Vanuatu Republican Party. He was the first Speaker of Parliament after independence, from July 1980 to November 1983, and also served in that capacity just before independence.

Natapei pledged to continue the policies and reforms of the outgoing Lini government. [11] He announced that some of his government's primary policies would include transparency, good governance and fighting corruption. [11]

In international development, good governance is a subjective term that describes how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in the preferred way. Governance is "the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented ". The term governance can apply to corporate, international, national, local governance or to the interactions between other sectors of society.

Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain.

Opposition leader Maxine Carlot Korman attempted a vote of no confidence motion just two days after Natapei became Prime Minister. The Opposition, led by Korman, claimed that two MPs had defected from the Natapei coalition and were now supporting Korman. [13] However, the Speaker of the Parliament George Wells rejected Korman's motion against Natapei on a technicality saying that one of the two MPs in question had not withdrawn their support for Natapei's government. [13] A no-confidence vote was nevertheless held on 3 October 2008, but the motion was defeated, with 20 votes in favor and 31 votes against. Because Natapei's government won the vote by a substantial margin, it was expected that the political situation would be stabilized as a result. [14] Nevertheless, another motion of no confidence was attempted on 25 November 2008; Natapei survived the vote by a narrow margin of 26 to 24. [15] Three Vanua'aku Pati MPs signed the motion of no confidence, and after they refused to withdraw their signatures, Natapei suspended them from the party immediately prior to the vote. [16]

Speaker (politics) presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body

The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body, is its presiding officer, or the chair. The title was first used in 1377 in England.

George Wells (politician) Ni-Vanautu politician

George Andre Wells is a Vanuatuan politician and Member of Parliament. He is a member of the National United Party. Wells served as the Foreign Minister of Vanuatu, as well as the Internal Affairs Minister until 2007.

In November 2009 Prime Minister Natapei, facing another vote of no confidence, organized a second major cabinet reshuffle. [17] Natapei removed half of his cabinet members and cut ties with two political parties, the National United Party and the Vanuatu Republican Party, when it was revealed that the parties and their members were planning to launch a no confidence motion against his government. [17]

Natapei replaced the sacked cabinet members with sixteen members from the opposition Alliance. [17] Among the highest profile reshuffles, Ham Lini, Natapei's predecessor and a member of the NUP, was replaced as Natapei's deputy prime minister by the leader of the Alliance bloc, Sato Kilman. [17] In 2010 Maxime Carlot Korman was replaced as the Speaker of parliament by George Wells only for Kormanti to return later and succeed Wells in the position again . [17] Alliance leader Sato Kilman confirmed that because of the reshuffle the Natapei government now had the support of 33 of the 52 MPs in the House. [17]

On 27 November 2009, Natapei became ineligible to continue serving as Prime Minister. His parliamentary seat was declared vacant as he had missed three parliamentary sittings without informing the Speaker of the House. Despite being overseas on legitimate parliamentary business, his staff had failed to file the necessary paperwork with the Speaker to give notice of his absence. [18] Serge Vohor became the acting Prime Minister. [19] On December 5, however, Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek ruled that "the Speaker’s decision to unseat the PM on 27 November 2009 was ‘unconstitutional and of no legal effect’". [20] On December 10, Parliament formally confirmed their confidence in Natapei, who thus remained Prime Minister. [21]

As of June. 2010 Natapei retained the Prime Ministerhip, with the support of 34 MPs (against 18 for the Opposition). [22]

On December 2, 2010 Natapei was ousted by a vote of no confidence. He was succeeded by Sato Kilman. [23]

On June 16, 2011 however, Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek ruled in a case put forward by Natapei, contesting the constitutionality of Kilman's election. Lunabek ruled that Kilman's election to office had indeed been unconstitutional, as "[t]he speaker of Parliament Maxime Carlot Korman [had] appointed Mr Kilman prime minister without following article 41 of the constitution which required he be elected by secret ballot". Kilman's premiership was annulled, and Natapei was restored as interim Prime Minister, instructed to convene Parliament for the election of a new Prime Minister. [24] [25] Natapei immediately indicated that he himself would not be a candidate for the position, and that he would support Serge Vohor's candidacy. [26]

During his interim premiership, Natapei cancelled Vanuatu's diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia, issued by Kilman the previous month. [27]

On June 26, Parliament elected Sato Kilman to the premiership, with 29 votes to Serge Vohor's 23, thus ending Natapei's interim duties. [28]

First cabinet

Natapei named his government's cabinet line-up on 22 September 2008, the day of his election as Prime Minister. [29] His cabinet included members of his own Vanua'aku Pati (VP) as well as the National United Party (VNUP). [29] Natapei's predecessor, outgoing Prime Minister Ham Lini, was named as the new Minister for Public Utilities and Works. [29]

Natapei's full cabinet included: [29]

A few days before the motion of no confidence was debated in Parliament Prime Minister Natapei brought into the government side the Union Of Moderate Parties (UMP) and reshuffled his cabinet for the first time as follows:

Later career

Natapei was Leader of the Opposition during Sato Kilman's premiership (2011–2013). On 21 March 2013, Kilman resigned, after eight of his MPs (including two government ministers) had crossed the floor to join the Opposition. Natapei backed Moana Carcasses Kalosil (leader of the Green Confederation) as the new Prime Minister, and Carcasses appointed him Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs on 23 March. [30] As Minister for Foreign Affairs, he applied Carcasses' policy in beginning a clean-up of the sale of diplomatic passports by previous governments. Within his first few days in office, he revoked the passports of "about ten" diplomats who are understood to have bought them. In a review praised by Transparency International, he indicated that more than two thirds of the country's diplomats could lose their position, as their appointment had not followed proper procedures. [31]

Natapei lost office when the Carcasses government was brought down by a motion of no confidence on 15 May 2014. [32]

Natapei died on 28 July 2015 at the age of 61 following a long illness. [33]

Related Research Articles

Politics of Vanuatu

The politics of Vanuatu take place within the framework of a constitutional democracy. The constitution provides for a representative parliamentary system. The head of the Republic is an elected President. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu is the head of government.

Ham Lin̄i Prime Minister of Vanuatu

Ham Lin̄i Vanuaroroa is a ni-Vanuatu politician. He is an MP from Pentecost Island in Penama Province. He was Prime Minister of Vanuatu from 11 December 2004 until 22 September 2008, and is the current Deputy Prime Minister since 16 May 2014. Lin̄i is the brother of Walter Lin̄i, one of the founders of the modern Republic of Vanuatu. Ham Lin̄i is the current leader of the National United Party (VNUP).

Sato Kilman Vanuatuan politician

Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu is a Vanuatuan politician. He had been Prime Minister of Vanuatu from June 2015 to February 2016. Kilman was previously Prime Minister from December 2010 to April 2011 and from May to June 2011, though his premiership was subsequently annulled by a court of law. He was elected Prime Minister again on 26 June 2011, thus beginning his first legally recognised term in the premiership; he served until 23 March 2013. He is also the current Leader of the People's Progress Party. He is an MP from Lakatoro on Malekula Island.

Vanuaaku Pati political party in Vanuatu

The Vanua'aku Pati is a democratic socialist political party in Vanuatu. At the last general election, held on 22 January 2016, they received 11.91% of the vote and 6 seats. They supported the election of Charlot Salwai as Prime Minister.

National United Party (Vanuatu) political party in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu National United Party is a political party in Vanuatu. It was founded by Vanuatu's independence leader Walter Lini when he broke away from the Vanua'aku Pati. It is a social democratic party which traditionally received most of its support from English speakers.

Union of Moderate Parties political party in Vanuatu

The Union of Moderate Parties is a liberal political party in Vanuatu founded in 1981. At the last general election, held on 22 January 2016, they won 9.73% of the vote and 6 seats. It is currently headed by Ishmael Kalsakau.

Joe Natuman Vanuatuan politician

Joe Natuman, born 24 November 1952, is a Vanuatuan politician, member of the Vanua'aku Pati.

1995 Vanuatuan general election

General elections were held in Vanuatu on 30 November 1995. Ni-Vanuatu voters were invited to elect the 50 members of the national Parliament.

Cabinet of Vanuatu

The Cabinet of Vanuatu is the cabinet of the government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

Pakoa Kaltonga Vanuatuan politician

Pakoa Kaltonga, also known as Bakoa Kaltongga, is a ni-Vanuatu politician. He is a member of the Vanua'aku Pati.

Harry Iauko was a Vanuatuan politician.

James Wango, also known as James Ngwango, is a ni-Vanuatu politician.

Paul Barthelemy Telukluk is a Vanuatuan politician.

2012 Vanuatuan general election election

General elections were held in Vanuatu on 30 October 2012. The previous elections to the 52-member Parliament of Vanuatu were held in 2008. The largest parties in this election were the socialist Vanua'aku Party, which won 11 seats, and the social-democratic National United Party. Thirteen other parties as well as four independents won parliamentary seats. As a result, Edward Natapei of the Vanua'aku Party was able to become the Prime Minister. Since then, both Serge Vohor of the conservative Union of Moderate Parties and Sato Kilman of the People's Progress Party have held that position, with Kilman being the incumbent Prime Minister of Vanuatu at the time of the 2012 election.

Bob Loughman, born 8 March 1961, is a Vanuatuan politician.


  1. 1 2 "Profiles of People in Power". google.ca. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-07-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. http://www.dailypost.vu/news/article_e035d44c-4649-5aca-b60c-dd0fc3eb3d38.html
  4. 1 2 "Biographies of Speakers: Pacific 2020 Conference", AusAID. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Nov 1999 – New government", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 45, November, 1999 Vanuatu, Page 43269.
  6. "Apr 2001 – New government", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 47, April, 2001 Vanuatu, Page 44111.
  7. "May 2002 – Legislative elections", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 48, May, 2002 Vanuatu, Page 44795.
  8. "Vanuaaku Pati mends split and re-elects Edward Natapei as its leader". Radio New Zealand International . 31 August 2005. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  9. 1 2 "Former PM to lead reunified party in Vanuatu", ABC Radio Australia, 31 August 2005.[ dead link ]
  10. "Vanuatu reshuffles cabinet again", ABC Radio Australia, 30 July 2007.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 "Vanuatu lawmakers elect Natapei as prime minister". Associated Press . International Herald Tribune. 2008-09-22. Archived from the original on September 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  12. "Natapei Chosen To Serve As Vanuatu Prime Minister". Radio New Zealand International . Pacific Magazine. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2008-09-22.[ dead link ]
  13. 1 2 "Vanuatu No-Confidence Vote Rejected By Speaker". Pacific Magazine . Radio New Zealand International. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-27.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)[ dead link ]
  14. "Vanuatu government defeats no confidence motion convincingly", ABC Radio Australia, 3 October 2008. Archived April 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  15. "Vanuatu government survives confidence vote", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 25 November 2008.[ dead link ]
  16. "Three Vanuatu MPs suspended", ABC Radio Australia, 25 November 2008.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Vanuatu PM counters challenge with major reshuffle". Radio New Zealand International. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2009-11-20.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  18. "Vanuatu PM forgets paperwork, loses seat". ABC News. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  19. "Leaders raise food security concerns". Fiji Times . 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  20. "Natapei retains seat: CJ rules", Vanuatu Daily Post, December 7, 2009[ dead link ]
  21. "PM Natapei defeats motion with 36 MPs", Vanuatu Daily Post, December 11, 2009[ dead link ]
  22. "Govt numbers remain intact", Vanuatu Daily Post, June 1, 2010[ dead link ]
  23. "Vanuatu's Natapei ousted in no confidence challenge". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2010-12-02.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  24. "Vanuatu Court rules Kilman election void, reinstates Natapei as interim PM". Radio New Zealand International. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  25. "Supreme Declared Natapei, Acting Prime Minister ", Government of Vanuatu, June 16, 2011 Archived June 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  26. "Vohor is candidate for PM: Natapei", Vanuatu Daily Post, June 18, 2011[ dead link ]
  27. "Natapei withdraws recognition of Abkhazia". Vanuatu Daily Post . June 20, 2011. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  28. "Kilman elected Vanuatu PM – ten days after ouster by court", Radio New Zealand International, June 26, 2011 Archived January 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 "New Vanuatu PM names his cabinet line-up". Radio Australia . 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  30. "Nation's interest first: Carcasses" Archived March 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine , Vanuatu Daily Post, 26 March 2013
  31. "Watchdog applauds clean-out of Vanuatu’s diplomatic sector", Radio New Zealand International, 13 June 2013
  32. "Natuman names cabinet line-up" Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine , Vanuatu Digest, 16 May 2014
  33. "Vanuatu's former leader Natapei has died". Radio New Zealand. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jean Marie Leye Lenelgau
President of Vanuatu

Succeeded by
John Bani
Preceded by
Barak Sopé
Prime Minister of Vanuatu
Succeeded by
Serge Vohor
Preceded by
Ham Lini
Prime Minister of Vanuatu
Succeeded by
Sato Kilman
Preceded by
Sato Kilman
Prime Minister of Vanuatu

Succeeded by
Sato Kilman