GJP gains additional seat in parliament after recount; Air New Zealand not acting in good faith, says Vanuatu Govt

Graon mo Jastis Party's Gillion William: elected to Efate Rural on recount

Graon mo Jastis Party’s Gillion William: elected MP for Rural Efate following recount

Graon mo Jastis Pati now has another seat in Parliament bringing their total to seven. The court-ordered recount for the 2016 General Election results for the rural Efate constituency placed Gillion William three votes ahead of Nato Taiwia of the Melanesian Progressive Party. A Government Gazette issued this morning announced Gillion William as the winner of the Efate constituency which had previously been awarded to Taiwia. Gillion William will be sworn in in the next sitting of Parliament.

Vanuatu Government refused an Air New Zealand charter flight scheduled for April 28 for taking RSE workers in and out of the country. Minister Jotham Napat says the Government questions why Air New Zealand’s refuses to reinstate its Auckland-Vila service, citing concerns with the runway —yet has no apparent concerns to operate a charter flight carrying ni-Vanuatu workers.” “The question must be asked”, says Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure Jotham Napat, “why are they willing to operate a profitable charter flight, yet not commit to resuming commercial services?”

Air Vanuatu has announced additional international flights starting June 1st to cope with the strong recovery of tourism after Cyclone Pam. Sydney will have six flights a week, Brisbane three flights and there will be three to and from Auckland. To these can be added the codeshared Fiji flights with Fiji Airways and Air Vanuatu’s four flights to Noumea. Acting CEO Joseph Laloyer says “with an advertising campaign to commence shortly, we are anticipating strong growth for the second half of the year.”

Papua New Guinea does not consider the attempted appointment of Fijian diplomat Amena Yauvoli as Director-General of MSG legitimate. PNG is of the strong view that the protocols establishing the MSG were not observed. A meeting of the Leadership to consider the short-listed candidates is necessary, said PNG PM O’Neill, and then the Leaders announce the successful candidate. He adds that the process of consensus must be followed before a new appointment can be announced.  Yauvoli was nominated for DG by the Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare. The Leaders’ Summit will take place in Port Vila early next month.

Daily Post today carries a compelling narrative of the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s internal and membership crises.

UMP political party has won the support of 3 Iauko Group MPs (Jay Ngwele, Pakoa Songi and Tom Noam). They have said there is a “need to support and strengthen Prime Minister Charlot Salwai’s Government in order to pass many long awaited laws such as the Integrity Bill and they support the present Government initiatives for the better economic and social development” of the country. They have joined the Meriango faction of the hugely split UMP party grouping. (Daily Post)

Daily Post today carries a clear explanation of Vanuatu’s efforts to reduce IUU activities — illegal, unreported and unregulated activities — of fishing vessels carrying the Vanuatu flag. The country is finally following closely the Forum Fisheries Agency’s recommendations for monitoring catches by Vanuatu-flagged vessels.