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Saturday 13 February 2016 | Published in Regional


PORT VILA – Vanuatu’s new prime minister is an accomplished and well respected figure in the country’s politics, according to the head of a Pacific think tank.

Charlot Salwai was this week elected unopposed in the first sitting of parliament following January’s snap election.

He leads a majority coalition made up of mostly opposition members of the last parliament and several independents.

Executive director of the Pacific Institute for Public Policy, Derek Brien, said the coalition had put careful consideration into its decision to put forward Salwai, who was a former finance and education minister.

He said Salwai’s 13-member cabinet was a combination of fresh faces and experienced MPs as it tried to push forward promised political reform.

“His election was a comprehensive victory and a comprehensive sign from the parliament to tackle the issue of unity and reform and to deliver the demand for change that the electorate signalled in the election in January,” said Derek Brien.

Salwai has called for unity to ensure development for the benefit of the people. - RNZI