Carcasses Kalosil, Moana (Vanuatu)

Reference work entry


Moana Kalosil became prime minister in March 2013. A naturalized citizen, he was the first non-native-born head of government in the country’s history.

Early Life

Kalosil was born on 27 Jan. 1963 in Taravoa, Tahiti, to a French father and a Tahitian mother. He joined the Green Confederation Party in 2000 and successfully stood as its candidate for the parliamentary seat in the capital, Port Vila, in 2002. From 2003–04 he served as foreign minister in the cabinet of Edward Natapei.

In July 2004 Kalosil became finance minister in Serge Vohor’s government, staying in the post after Ham Lini became premier. Losing his cabinet seat when Lini resigned in 2005, Kalosil led the opposition at the 2008 general election and retained his Port Vila seat.

With Natapei forming the government, Kalosil was the opposition whip until joining the government in 2009 as minister of internal affairs and labour (despite having been threatened with suspension from parliament earlier in the year amid allegations of abetting a prison breakout, although the charges were subsequently dropped).

When Natapei left office in 2010 after a vote of no confidence, Kalosil joined the administration of Sato Kilman as minister of finance and economic management, positions he kept until Kilman was himself ousted by a no confidence vote in 2011.

Kalosil retained his seat at the 2012 election and sat as a backbencher to the reinstated Kilman government. In March 2013 he and eight other MPs defected to the opposition, forcing Kilman’s resignation. Three days later, Kalosil was voted premier by parliamentary ballot, winning support from 34 of 52 MPs.

Career Peak

Only the world’s second Green prime minister, Kalosil began his tenure by establishing a ministry of climate change. He was also expected to pursue closer ties with foreign partners including France, Australia and Vanuatu’s Melanesian neighbours. He is a strong advocate of self-determination for the people of West Papua—a province of Indonesia in the island of New Guinea—and has opposed a decision made by the previous administration to grant Indonesia observer status at the intergovernmental Melanesian Spearhead Group.

In May 2014 Kalosil lost a parliamentary motion of no-confidence having survived three previous attempts to remove him from power. He had been accused of overspending on projects including the construction of a new international airport, whilst offsetting spiraling costs by selling diplomatic passports to foreign nationals. Joe Natuman was subsequently appointed to the premiership, replacing Kalosil on 15 May 2014.

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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