UMP in disarray: party elects two different presidents in two days

UMP's Serge Vohor: clinging to power from his prison cell. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Graham Crumb

UMP’s Serge Vohor: clinging to power from his prison cell. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Graham Crumb

The party which has had leaders claiming to be able to reunite its disparate elements, is, as of last night, even more disunited than ever before. How many years is it since the Union of Moderate Parties was going for a big unity bid at Luganville – one, two or more? And now, within one week, two separate UMP party congresses have been held: two presidents were elected. The first came up with Jacques Mariango elected as President. And Vice President Jack Norris. This was Thursday. However, last evening imprisoned (for bribery) President Vohor was re-elected President at another congress – also held at the Lycée LAB. He thanked the congress for his re-election by phone from the Low Risk Correctional Facility. His Vice President is the former Attorney General, Ishmael Kalsakau, now Leader of the Opposition. The latter congress suspended the party leaders elected at the earlier congress, for a period of five years, but decided this might be reviewed in the case of a reconciliation. The likely outcome of the disunity is surely to be heard in a court of law. (Daily Post)

Retired Colonel Jack Marikembo is the new Police Commissioner. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh, made the announcement which has now been gazetted. A soon to be announced Vanuatu Community Symposium will be taking the work of the Vanuatu Police Force to the grassroots level to ensure better management of the force. Marikembo joined the British Police back in 1978, retiring in 2002. (Daily Post)

The Malo/Aore by-election is now delayed whilst the Electoral Commission obtains a new member. The constituency was expecting to go to the polls on June 29, but the recruitment of the new Commission member has not been finalised. (Daily Post)

The Utilities Regulatory Authority has issued a notice which appears this weekend’s Daily Post. It aims to clarify the right of individuals to generate their own electricity through the use of solar power achieved by panels. However it emphasizes that safety standards and rules for solar photovoltaic installations in Vanuatu must be followed.