It was recently announced in social media and sources close to him confirmed last week end: the eldest brother of the first Prime Minister of Vanuatu, late Walter Lini, has decided to step down and won’t be candidate again in the upcoming general election.
The current minister of Climate Change and president of NUP (National United Party), Ham Lini, has decided not to renew his term in Parliament from health related reasons, said sources.
The former Prime Minister, after having gone through medical check-up in Australia last year, has good reason to step down and to leave a very longtime parliamentary seat to be occupied by a Lini to another person who is to be chosen in the ranks of his political party.
Ham Lini will step down from candidacy in the next legislative race but he will still maintain his position as NUP’s president until the election of his successor, reports said.
Ham Lini entered politics when he run as NUP’s candidate in by-election organized on Pentecost in 1999 following the death of his brother on 21st February that same year. Being the successor of his brother, he was also elected president of NUP.
Political sources said it won’t be easy to find someone from North Pentecost to be his successor. The man who used to be his right hand was Clifford Bice who died last month in Port Vila.
Aged 67 today, Ham Lini was Prime Minister from 11 December until 22 September 2008. Since he become MP, he has served in many ministerial portfolios until today.