Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 15 August 2015

The big item today is not easily found. It’s on page 8 of Daily Post. As would happen elsewhere in a country using the Westminster System, the Opposition calls on all 17 Government MPs to resign immediately while the Supreme Court deals with the allegations of bribery brought by the Public Prosecutor. Half the ministers in the Council of Ministers are facing such allegations. The resignations should take place as the most honourable thing for MPs implicated, their release says. It would also allow for "the due process of the courts to proceed un-interrupted," but also "to allow for a smooth transition of power while the case proceeds into trial. Leaving this decision to the last moment is not only irresponsible of the government, but could be potentially embarrassing, especially for Deputy Prime Minister Carcasses and his 16 colleague MPs." The Opposition offers no further details because of the pending nature of the case, but points out that some of the MPs implicated were part of the last government [indeed, voted for it when the Carcasses Government was put aside last year]. [The Natuman Government won power with a huge majority. Ed.]

And concerning the Bribery Case, Justice Mary Sey holds the first conference in chambers on Tuesday. Whilst there was the rumour that the trial date had been moved forward, this is not strictly true. Justice Sey meets with the legal counsels for the 19 defendants and with the Public Prosecutor John William Timakata on Tuesday. This news is on page 2 of Post today.

Page 1 has Minister Telukluk and MP Prasad complaining that the Yao in the business of the cigarette scam is not their Yao with whom they are commercially associated. Rather, it is the father of that Yao. And, of course, they say, as minister and MP, they have nothing to do with the ordering for their store. Of course not. They also say, as we’ve been told by others less implicated this week, the media should properly check their facts first of all. Of course.

Gud wiken.