Govt plans reforms to Electoral Act; Budget brings no burden, says Finance Minister; Vt136 million for beef industryPosted: March 2, 2016
Jane Joshua in today’s Daily Post highlights two important changes the Salwai Government wants to make to the Representation of the People Act. Recent experience shows the wisdom of either or both. One is a requirement that persons standing for election must have a medical check-up and be able to produce a certificate of their health before being permitted to contest. It is only six weeks since the 2016 elections voted Havo Molisale the MP for Malo/Aore, yet the Member has died. There is no suggestion of ill-health in the 100 Days Plan, yet the government has likely established why Moli died. The country will need to be involved in a by-election to replace him as MP according to the existing legislation, and these are always extremely expensive. The other Government suggested change to the Act dealing with elections suggests that replacement of a deceased MP might best be accomplished by simply appointing Member the election candidate who won the next highest number of votes when an MP dies, i.e., not holding any by-election.
The Government is looking at the budget prepared in the first instance by the previous government in a way which will maximise every existing revenue potential without providing any new or increased fiscal burden on people, VBTC News reported this morning. This statement is made by the Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Gaetan Pikioune, following criticism from the Opposition and in advance of the Budget Sitting scheduled for March 21.
Radio Vanuatu also mentioned a workshop recently held which will lead to the improvement of the cattle industry in Vanuatu. A 4-year beef project is being set up on Santo, assisted by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and worth A$1.7 million (vt136 million). The beef industry contributed 12% of total exports at the end of last year and this was an increase of 15% on the same period at the end of the previous year.
Today’s Daily Post reports the Prosecutions inquiry into the allegation of conspiracy against Deputy PM Joe Natuman and Former Police Commissioner Aru Maralau regarding a past alleged police mutiny. The case was adjourned once again, this time until 2 pm next Wednesday by Chief Magistrate Felix Stevens. This case is to determine whether or not there is a case to be answered.