PM Bob Loughman to face unprecedented challenges as snap elections announced in Vanuatu

The Republic of Vanuatu will witness snap elections on October 13, 2022, after President Nikenike Vurobaravu dissolved the parliament of the country and on the eve of a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Bob Loughman. The parliament was dissolved on August 19 and the electoral commission of the country announced the new ‘snap’ election timeline on September 7, 2022 (Wednesday). Since then, the country has been witnessing preparations for the elections.

As per various reports, these elections will bring many ifs and buts for the present government. The people of Vanuatu will catechize the government for many doing, including the lackof the due diligence procedure for the Citizenship by Investment Programme, which is the primary breadwinner of the exchequer.

There are several persons who have expressed dismay of the government’s efforts to safeguard the CBI Programme, and the government even faced backlash because of the same. The government has lost its trust, and it has been anticipated that it won’t be favoured by the citizens in the upcoming snap general elections.

The European Union also disliked the decision related to the due diligence procedure as the process holds immense importance in the bestowing of the citizenship of Vanuatu. Not only the EU but Switzerland also partially removed the visa-free access to citizens of the country, which includes the Schengen region. The country suffered the greatest drop in global mobility following the suspension of visa-free access for citizens of Vanuatu with a passport issued after May 25, 2015. It now only enables access to 98 countries and only four business hubs, compared with 2021, when its holders enjoyed access to 133 and 13, respectively, according to the CBI Index 2022, in which the country bagged the last position.

The country has been facing such criticism because of the decisions by the government. The people of Vanuatu have almost zero confidence left in the government and will be looking for better administration this time.

The dissolution of the Parliament has raised questions on Loughman-led government. It is worth noting that the government promised to solve the problem related to the due-diligence process and assured that the procedure will be improved. But at the end the government failed to improve CBI Programme’s image and landed into the national financial crisis.

“The government has lost our trust and will not come into the power else the nation will be shattered. Only the government is responsible for what we are facing today as we have lost our visa-free travel access to many countries,” said one of the local.

While another pointed out, “If the government cannot fulfil the promises they have made in the past how we can trust their new election promises.”

Vanuatu Snap Elections:

According to the announced timeline, the candidates filed nominations from September 12 to September 21. However, the official election period campaign will begin on October 1 and will be concluded at midnight on October 10.

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