Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 November 2014Posted: November 25, 2014
The PM’s (and DPM’s) motion to have MPs bribed, and those bribing them, both outed and ousted (for the MPs until after the first sitting of Parliament next year) is still top of the heavy news and will remain so until after the 4.30 vote today. Prime Minister Natuman’s address to the nation yesterday through VBTC was quite clear. Bribery has caused too much government instability and cost the country dearly is the view of both the PM and DPM. "There are too many allegations of corruption such that it has become commonplace. Any corrupt practices will have consequences. The parliamentary caucus decided that I put the motion and the Deputy Prime Minister seconds it. Enough is enough." Natuman explained there are two parts to the motion. The first is to suspend MPs. Then the Police will investigate complaints which have already been received. "If there are businessmen involved, the court will deal with them." Natuman stated the Government has the support of 30 MPs, and the Opposition 22, following on from the number who supported the Carcasses motion lodged last Friday. He pointed out that it is against the Constitution, the law (the penal code) and the Leadership Code of Vanuatu to engage in bribery.
Yesterday’s Daily Post carries a brilliant page one Kranke Kona cartoon in which the Opposition Leader is clearly fishing for MPs with a million vatu the bait. And DP also carries the news that Carcasses is prepared to reveal the names of "other borrowers" who have borrowed from him for their development schemes. Government side MPs "have borrowed money from me in one way or another and at one time or another," says Carcasses. Since the Greens only had three members elected in the national elections of 2012, it will be interesting to learn the present political status of MPs since the October loan scheme for MPs emerged. My bet would be most MPs regard the million as a gift which they certainly won’t be giving back. They’d be silly not to, wouldn’t they? Yesterday’s Post also has a clear letter from Sethy Regenvanu against the Carcasses motion saying it reveals the interests served as being those of the non-indigenous axis – the Singapore company’s airport and e-visas for Chinese.
Sincere apologies to Jean-Yves Chabod for failing to observe his election to Parliament in the last Vanuatudaily bulletin. I was consulting the 2012 national election results and thus failed to take account of by-election results.
In other news, Post gives prominence today to a Government amendment to the Municipalities Act (in Parliament yesterday) which appropriately requires would-be councillors to contest only in their wards of the council. Minister Salwai pointed out that presently anyone can contest in any ward. The amendment will ensure the councillor is known to those in his ward and answerable to them.
Daily Post today questions an expensive block at Ellouk, belonging to Bambai Limited of Olivier Fernandez, having an apartment block constructed much closer to the road than what is currently allowed, the developer claiming the road is in the wrong place. Other residents of the toney suburb, and Unelco, are likely to disagree.
Yesterday’s Radio Vanuatu News reported President Fr Baldwin Lonsdale made a short visit to his home island of Motalava. In a custom ceremony he was awarded a custom name.
In Post Letters, Observer feels it likely the Leader of the Opposition is not a rich and wealthy man. Observer wonders where he is getting his money from. If a local businessman is funding Carcasses, he says, "law enforcement authorities should leave no stone unturned" to identify and prosecute.