Vanuatu daily news digest | 29 November 2014

The usual morning news on VBTC just failed to turn up this morning. As if there was nothing to report. And then, after my waiting an hour at Au Bon Marché it was to learn The Independent "didn’t come," to explain it failed to get on the plane from Australia (or wherever) last night. This newspaper registered as a local charity feels obliged to print overseas.

The big news really can be stated in a couple of lines. Daily Post does that. The constitutional case of the 16 MPs was moved to Monday, even though a holiday. The sixteen have lodged a petition against their suspension. And the Speaker has moved the censure motion against the government of PM Joe Natuman to Thursday. That’s it. The Vanuatu Times has a Government-side MP saying he was approached by an Opposition group offering him VT 1 million at a time when the loan scheme had not been invented. It was alleged there was a fund of VT 300 million to bribe voters.

Daily Post reports PM Natuman replying to MP Mokin Steven yesterday asking whether Government will consider legislation to control naturalized citizens. "This is a matter for everyone in the House to debate," said Natuman. "It requires bi-partisan support and both sides need to come to a consensus." Unfortunately the meeting for next month has had to be postponed, but the PM said the Commonwealth Secretariat was ready to make inputs. PM Natuman said a lawyer had been been commissioned some time ago and "We will continue to advance talks to have a Political Integrity Bill." This would cover the age-old Vanuatu problem of floor crossers causing instability.

Daily Post also has news of the VT 29 million vatu allegedly misappropriated from Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) and an air services agreement signed between Vanuatu and Kiribati.

Thousands are expected to march on the Unity Day (Monday) public holiday in a gesture of solidarity for the West Papuans. HappyUnity Day, but be at Fatumauru Bay at 11, prepared to march to Saralana.