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Multiple changes in leadership undermine nation’s progress

By Royson Willie PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 8, 2009) – In Vanuatu, his first address to parliament since his election as President, Iolu Abbil reminded members of parliament in their role as national leaders to ensure that stability prevails in the country so that the country can move forward to achieve its development goals.

"The problem of instability in the country because of political differences is a huge expense on Vanuatu’s budget.

"Instability in a nation shows that such a nation is not mature in some of its ways.

"I am saying this for the simple reason that instability does not serve the best interest of the people and the nation.

"As President of the country, I believe and have confidence that the leadership of the country is becoming more experienced and is becoming mature.

"It is capable of taking the right decision and direction that serves the best interest of the people and nation," President Iolu Abbil said in his opening address to the Second Ordinary Session of Parliament for 2009 yesterday.

The President told MPs that as members of parliament, the people of Vanuatu trusted them with the key responsibility to lead development and management of this country.

He said this responsibility is exercised through the government that members of parliament elected, to carry out development and management of the country.

"The work of development and management must go hand-in-hand so that Vanuatu can make good progress and achieve its goals.

"With coalition governments that Vanuatu has inherited since 1991, it is not easy to manage a stable government to ensure that the development of the country stays on track and progresses well.

"The success of this country depends a lot on your leadership, in the direction and decisions that you take on behalf of the people.

"These experiences of nearly 30 years as an independent nation, teaches us in this nation a lot of lessons, mistakes and downfalls that has affected the development and management of this country," President Abbil told parliament.

The President also reminded leaders that the maturity of this nation demands that the process of accountability under the laws of this country must work.

He said while all countries in the world, including Vanuatu face the problem of corruption, which he says is a disease that kills and steals the wealth and health of a country, the country’s motto has no room for such practices.

"Allegations of corruption in public offices in this nation must not continue to remain only on paper, as mere stories on reports.

"We must follow the right process to deal with such disease that is affecting the country.

"The people want and deserve a healthy nation."

Other issues that the President mentioned include land resource and climate change.

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