Vanuatu’s court of appeal will sit today to decide the political fate of the prime minister, Bob Loughman, and 18 other MPs. The supreme court ruled in June that they had vacated their seats after a three-day boycott of parliament by the government side.

Even in a country accustomed to political intrigue and surprise, it is a precarious moment. So how did we get here, who are the key players and what might happen next?

How did it come to this?

After general elections in March 2020, parliament elected Gracia Shadrack as Speaker in the coalition led by Loughman of the Vanua’aku Pati and Ishmael Kalsakau of the Union of Moderate Parties.

Vanuatu’s coalition-driven politics are fluid. Parties fracture and regroup, and MPs are willing and able to move from one side to another (and back again) with startling frequency.


Please click here to read the full “Precarious moment: Vanuatu court to rule on prime minister’s fate” article published at The Guardian, written by Griffith Asia Institute Pacific Hub Lead, Dr Tess Newton Cain.