Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 17 December 2015

The big news today is still the "lawful" verdict of the Supreme Court concerning the dissolution of Parliament. Daily Post gives excellent coverage today, and former PM Joe Natuman has been heard and seen on VBTC radio and television commenting on the judgement and accepting it, although not ruling out any appeal by the lawyers for the former Opposition side. Natuman pointed out that his side still had the majority and will be going to the polls with confidence. For those who wish to read Justice Aru’s decision in full, it is already available on www.paclii.org. At that site just bring up Vanuatu and Supreme Court decisions of 2015 on which it is Vanuaroroa v President of the Republic of Vanuatu [2015] VUSC 175.

Santo/Malo people are going to the polls today for the Sanma provincial elections.

In other news items not previously covered, Vila Times this week has former MPs from both sides lodging complaints against the actions of those on the other side.

The Government has not paid back the money which the imprisoned MPs were granted by former MP Moana Carcasses, Radio Vanuatu News pointed out earlier this week. This was confirmed to VBTC News by a senior officer in the Finance Department. The government spokesman said government is not responsible for ensuring this.

Daily Post yesterday drew attention to two of the lawyers in the conspiracy case being granted immunity from prosecution. This is the case involving former Speaker Pipite attempting to pardon 15 politicians in the Bribery Case. The 2 lawyers are helping the Public Prosecutor in his case which will be heard next Tuesday. The lawyers are Robin Kapapa and Gregory Takau. Yesterday’s issue of the same paper also reported the Vanuatu Republican Party endorsing Kapapa as the interim President of VRP.

Agriculture Minister Christopher Emelee has this week made the first payment for a plantation at Stonehill village behind Vanafo. The 1,050 hectares are to become the farm land of the Vanuatu Agricultural College. Minister Emelee implored the CEO of the College to make sure the plantation did not become like the disastrous White Bullock project on South Efate.

The Acting Police Commissioner was convicted in the Magistrates’ Court yesterday of involvement in a traffic accident. He was charged with both careless and reckless driving. Sentencing will take place on January 15.

The Digest wishes to apologize to the family of the dead man found floating in Vila Harbour for the flippant manner with which his death was reported. That he and the circumstances of his death were unknown do not license this news service to treat his death with negligible respect.


One Comment on “Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 17 December 2015”

  1. Sue Farran says:

    What, one wonders has been the cost of all this litigation and who has paid it? It may not be for government to recover the money received in bribes – that is for the AG to bring a case against the criminals who received the money either under the relevant criminal law or on the grounds that they were in breach of their fiduciary duty owed to the state and the people of Vanuatu. It is however the responsibility of government surely to reclaim the wrongly paid out sums following from the dismissal of parliament, when these persons were no longer members of parliament and no longer entitled to any of the privileges of that post.

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