Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 19 December 2015

Transparency International Vanuatu – TIV – has praised the position taken by the Supreme Court concerning the dissolution of Parliament. It made its position clear on VBTC and in Daily Post. It supports the decision taken by Justice Aru in line with the President’s decision for a snap election.Transparency’s Dr Willie Tokon says he sees the matter, as does President Baldwin Lonsdale, as a last resort in order to put back and safeguard the integrity of the nation. Dr Tokon urged voters to carefully monitor the election campaign and added that what has happened recently will assist electors in choosing a suitable candidate.

There is more in Daily Post today on the Opposition grouping accepting the Court’s decision. Essentially this is in view of time being of the essence, the snap election date so soon. Joe Natuman said that the former Opposition will, however, seek a a judicial review of the decision after the election. He pointed out differences between their present case which had just failed and the two precedent cases used against the Opposition grouping – the dissolutions by Jean-Marie Leye and Roger Abiut. This time, said Natuman, the matter arose in connection with the conviction of 15 MPs.

The Chamber of Commerce has defended its new leave proposals following comments made against the employer association by Ephraim Kalsakau of VWU, the Vanuatu Workers Union. The Chamber has criticised Kalsakau for his failure to attend meetings of the Tripartite Labour Advisory Council whilst the ILO was assisting in drafting an Act of Parliament to replace the Employment Act. The Union has now decided to engage in further discussions over employee entitlements. (Daily Post)

Police have made arrests over an incident which saw houses, a church and a store burned down on eastern Pentecost. It resulted from a dispute over the rights to harvest beche de mer. (Radio Vanuatu)