Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney
Vanuatu PM promises to end Indonesia defence agreement and support Papua independence.
Vanuatu’s new prime minister has promised to terminate a defence cooperation agreement with Indonesia and support independence for Papua province.
The move is one of 68 measures contained in an ambitious 100-day plan for prime minister Moana Carcasses’ new government.
The termination of the defence cooperation agreement with Indonesia is item 32 on a 68-point list of what he hopes to achieve in his first 100 days in power.
Mr Carcasses has also promised support for the “Free West Papua” movement’s bid to become full members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
The previous Vanuatu government had developed warmer relations with Indonesia and under the soon-to-be-cancelled defence agreement Indonesia had provided some material support and assistance to the paramilitary Vanuatu mobile force.
Mr Carcasses also wants to hold a special session of parliament to change the constitution to give Vanuatu’s Council of Chiefs a veto power over any laws dealing with customary land.
Other items on his list include creating a special ministry for climate change and allowing legal action to be taken against political leaders for recovery of misappropriated funds.
A complete audit of the Hong Kong-based Vanuatu residency scheme under which wealthy Chinese investors could become virtual citizens of Vanuatu is also proposed.
Mr Carcasses replaced Sato Kilman as prime minister, who resigned from office in May.
He is the first naturalised citizen to become prime minister since Vanuatu gained independence 32 years ago and is the leader of Vanuatu’s Greens party.