Vanuatu. In March, tropical cyclone Pam crashed over the island. It reached wind speeds of up to 80 meters per second in wind gusts far above hurricane strength. The result was disastrous. A death figure of eleven killed later was recorded by the UN, which indicated the number of deaths to 16. According to COUNTRYAAH, Port-Vila is the capital of Vanuatu which is located in Melanesia. The material devastation was very extensive. Nearly 180,000 people, or about 70% of the population, lost their homes. In addition, other buildings, farms, infrastructure and fishing boats were destroyed. President Baldwin Lonsdale noted that several years of development work had been totally destroyed.
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An agreement was signed in May, which means that Vanuatu’s citizens are allowed to spend shorter periods in EU countries without a visa.
In June, Prime Minister Joe Natuman dismissed Foreign Minister Sato Kilman. In his place, Kalvau Moli was appointed to the post. However, it was only a few days before a vote of no confidence in Parliament resulted in Natuman himself being deposed. Kilman was appointed new head of government, which was the fourth time he took office.
In October, the Supreme Court sentenced 14 MPs to prison for bribery. Deputy Prime Minister Moana Carcasse’s Kalosil was sentenced to four years in prison for bribing 13 politicians in the opposition. These, in turn, were sentenced to three years in prison. When President Lonsdale was overseas at the time, the Deputy President, Parliament Speaker Marcellino Pipite, took the opportunity to pardon himself and his 13 co-defendants. Lonsdale annulled the pardons when he returned to the country and was supported by the Supreme Court. The troubled political situation in November caused the president to dissolve parliament and announce new elections. The decision was appealed by opposition politicians and the matter had to be decided in court. In mid-December, a ruling in the Supreme Court confirmed that Parliament was dissolved. New elections were announced until January 2016.
On the threshold of the new century, Vanuatu continued to be characterized by the political instability that had marked its life during the nineties of the 20th century. and that it would have also subsequently conditioned the internal events. The traditional social division according to a linguistic line between French and English speakers found a correspondence in the political dynamics since independence, obtained in 1980, mainly characterized by the presence of two English-speaking parties, the traditional Vanua’aku Pati (VP, Party of our land) and the more recent National United Party (NUP) born in 1991 from a split between the VP, and a French-speaking party, the Union des Partis Modérés (UPM).
After the crisis that hit the UfM, heavily involved in financial scandals at the end of the nineties, and the return of the VP to the government of the country in 1998, the weakness of the programmatic contents of the political forces as well as their consequent shattering emerged again in the April 2001. It was then in fact that the serious tensions matured within the government structure led to the fall of the cabinet and the early elections in May, the results of which led to the formation of a coalition government between VP and UPM, led by E. Natapei. Still torn by scandals, internal tensions and reshuffles, the Natapei government fell in April and the early elections of July 2004they recorded a significant drop in votes for the major parties. Therefore, the leader of the UPM S. Vohor returned to the head of a coalition government who, forced to resign in December for having tried to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, was replaced by H. Lini of the VP at the head of a new coalition.
The most serious phenomenon, however, which involved Vanuatu in the early years of the new century is the environmental one. The global warming of the earth’s climate seriously threatens the very survival of the country with the rise in sea level.