Edward Natapei

Edward Natapei

Infobox_Prime Minister

name = Edward Natapei
order = Prime Minister of Vanuatu
president = Kalkot Mataskelekele
term_start = 22 September 2008
term_end =
predecessor = Ham Lini
successor =
president2 = John Bani
Roger Abiut (Acting)
Alfred Maseng
Roger Abiut (Acting)
term_start2 = 13 April 2001
term_end2 = 29 July 2004
predecessor2 = Barak Sopé
successor2 = Serge Vohor
order3 = President of Vanuatu
primeminister3 = Donald Kalpokas
term_start3 = 2 March 1999
term_end3 = 24 March 1999
predecessor3 = Jean Marie Leye Lenelgau
successor3 = John Bani
birth_date = 17 July 1954
birth_place =
death_date =
death_place =
party = Vanua'aku Pati
spouse = ?

Edward Nipake Natapei Tuta Fanua`araki (born 17 July 1954) is a politician from Vanuatu who is currently Prime Minister of Vanuatu, having been elected to the post on September 22, 2008. [http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200809/s2370936.htm?tab=latest] Natapei 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), Prime Minister from 2001 until 2004, and then Deputy Prime Minister. He is the President of the Vanua'aku Pati, a socialist, Anglophone political party.


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. [http://www.aiprd.or.id/hottopics/pacific2020/bios.cfm "Biographies of Speakers: Pacific 2020 Conference"] , AusAID.] 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. ["Nov 1999 - New government", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 45, November, 1999 Vanuatu, Page 43269.] 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. ["Apr 2001 - New government", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 47, April, 2001 Vanuatu, Page 44111.] He retained the position after the May 2002 election. ["May 2002 - Legislative elections", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 48, May, 2002 Vanuatu, Page 44795.] Even though his party performed poorly in the July 2004 election, he was re-elected as a Member of Parliament for 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 relegated to Sam Dan Avock, who was a Party Executive Member.

Natapei became Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities in the Lini-led government in July 2005. A split in Vanua'aku Pati was resolved in August 2005, and Natapei was re-elected as its President, [ [http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=19021 "Vanuaaku Pati mends split and re-elects Edward Natapei as its leader"] , Radio New Zealand International, August 31, 2005.] [http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1449660.htm "Former PM to lead reunified party in Vanuatu"] , ABC Radio Australia, August 31, 2005.] receiving 124 votes against 67 for Sela Molisa. In late July 2007 he became Minister of Public Utilities again, replacing Serge Vohor, as well as becoming Deputy Prime Minister. [ [http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/s1991647.htm "Vanuatu reshuffles cabinet again"] , ABC Radio Australia, July 30, 2007.]

Second time as Prime Minister (2008–present)

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. cite news |first=|last=|title=Vanuatu lawmakers elect Natapei as prime minister |url=http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/22/asia/AS-Vanuatu-Politics.php|work=Associated Press|publisher=International Herald Tribune|date=2008-09-22 |accessdate=2008-09-22] Natapei received 27 of the 52 votes in Parliament to become Prime Minister for a second term. 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. Natapei succeeded Ham Lini as Prime Minister and will lead 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. cite news |first=|last=|title=Natapei Chosen To Serve As Vanuatu Prime Minister |url=http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2008/09/22/natapei-chosen-to-serve-as-vanuatu-prime-minister|work=Radio New Zealand International|publisher=Pacific Magazine|date=2008-09-22 |accessdate=2008-09-22]

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

Opposition leader Maxime 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 Natapei coalition and were now supporting Korman. cite news |first=|last=|title=Vanuatu No-Confidence Vote Rejected By Speaker |url=http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2008/09/25/vanuatu-no-confidence-vote-rejected-by-speaker|work= Pacific Magazine |publisher=Radio New Zealand International|date=2008-09-25 |accessdate=2008-09-27] 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. A no-confidence vote was nevertheless held on October 3, 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. [ [http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/programguide/stories/200810/s2381633.htm "Vanuatu government defeats no confidence motion convincingly"] , ABC Radio Australia, October 3, 2008.]

Cabinet line-up

Natapei named his government's cabinet line-up on September 22, 2008, the day of his election as Prime Minister. cite news |first=|last=|title=New Vanuatu PM names his cabinet line-up|url=http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=42133 |work= Radio Australia |publisher=|date=2008-09-22 |accessdate=2008-09-22] His cabinet includes members of his own Vanua'aku Pati (VP) as well as the National United Party (VNUP). Natapei's predecessor, outgoing Prime Minister Ham Lini, was named as the new Minister for Public Utilities and Works.

Natapei's full cabinet includes:
* Pakoa Kaltonga as the Minister of Foreign Affairs (VP)
* Sela Molisa as Finance Minister (VP)
* Joe Natuman as Lands Minister (VP)
* Ham Lini as Minister for Public Utilities and Works (VNUP)
* James Bule as the new Minister for Commerce and Industry (VNUP)
* Patrick Crowby as the Minister for Internal Affairs (VNUP)
* Havo Moli was also appointed as Minister of Agriculture. Moli is the lone member of Natapei's cabinet from the Namangi Aute political party.


External links

* [http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2002/09/17/west-papua-2-vanuatu-promises-new-backing-for-west-papuans Pacific Magazine: Vanuatu promises new backing for West Papuans]


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