Vanuatu. In March, the opposition tried to trap the government through a vote of no confidence. The government then accused the opposition of “creating political instability” and threatened to present a motion that would prohibit opposition members from participating in parliamentary meetings for the remainder of 2006. However, the prosecutor should have urged the Speaker of Parliament not to submit the government’s motion when it violated the constitution. The government won the vote of no confidence and could remain, as the opposition was only supported by 20 of the 50 MPs. This was the third time that opposition leader Serge Vohor was trying to oust Prime Minister Ham Lini. Vohor was previously prime minister and was forced to resign himself after a vote of no confidence in 2004. In December, he presented a fourth motion of no confidence against Ham Lini.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Vanuatu include Independence Day (July 30) and New Year (January 1). One of the opposition’s reasons for the distrust was allegations of misconduct by a number of state companies, including the airline Air Vanuatu, who laid off a fifth of its employees in 2005. Another reason was the government’s decision to introduce a state monopoly on the export of kava, a light stimulating beverage made from the root of the plant of the same name. Kava is one of Vanuatu’s most important export goods. The government’s decision was much debated and led, among other things. to Ham Lini’s resignation in March.
Despite the conflicts, the people of Vanuatu are the happiest people in the world. It shows a survey done by the New Economic Foundation think tank and the Friends of the Earth environmental organization 2006. Organizations advocate a different approach to the classic gross domestic product to measure welfare. They ranked 178 countries according to three factors: longevity, well-being and environmental damage. Sweden ended up in 119th place.