Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 30 October 2015Posted: October 30, 2015
Apologies for no Digest yesterday. We are now effectively in what is a sort of campaign time again. The calls for unity started with the Port Vila by-election, and were carefully worked into the Unity Front campaign which achieved a start to unity between the VP, NUP and GJP, and now they continue at the national level. But how much party unity do we need or want?
Apart from the VP, NUP and GJP, we have UMP, GC, LDP, PPP, VNP, Nagriamel, VRP, Iauko Group, MPP, RMC, VPDP, Natatok and at least 4 Independents. The multiplicity of parties has done as much as anything to decrease the value of our votes (and the likelihood of bribery). As was pointed out in yesterday’s Daily Post in the 1979 elections 76.4% of the population managed to have their chosen candidate elected. In 2012 this had fallen to 36%. How united can we ever be? At least we now have two main illogically named political groups – the Government and the Opposition. The Government quite clearly does not command a majority, with 14 of its members and half its original cabinet in gaol, and this is another reason why we need a sitting of Parliament as soon as possible, with or without a GNU, and the MPs can spend as many days and nights as necessary deciding whether or not there is one amongst them they can accept as leader. And then they need to get on with the business of the budget sitting. There is no time or cash for a snap election. Furthermore, whilst yesterday’s Daily Post has former PM Korman calling for a GNU as its headline, the sub-title was more to the point: Korman says common sense must prevail.
Fortunately common sense prevails in the minds of the majority of the population (we have had no riot or disturbance) and in that of the Head of State. President Baldwin Lonsdale has shown a great deal of wisdom in the handling of the premature pardons granted by his stand-in and he continues to manifest his leadership ability in his attempt to get principals of the Government side and Opposition side to sit down together, something at which the Government leader balks. The Opposition insists on Kilman resigning because of his primacy over a corrupt government. Opposition and Government have met President Baldwin separately.
This morning Kilman has asserted he has a police investigation running against the Opposition’s Natuman for a "conspiracy to defeat justice" and another alleging ‘theft’ by Natuman. This was reported by Radio Vanuatu News. Yes, it is certainly campaign time again.