Lack of Parliamentary quorum delays debate on Constitutional changes

Scan of the original Preamble to the Vanuatu Constitution

Scan of the original Preamble to the Vanuatu Constitution

There was a possibility the Government would amend some of the Constitutional changes due for debate in the special sitting of Parliament today. There are 25 amendments which Government had scheduled for debate today and tomorrow. However, the Opposition proved its ability to impede debate in Parliament today: the required 75% quorum was not in attendance this morning. The number present, 35 MPs, was four short of the needed quorum of 39 MPs. The Speaker then advised that the sitting would be delayed until Thursday next week at 8:30am. Only two-thirds of MPs will need be present then. That number was present this morning: Opposition absenteeism will therefore be costly. The major Constitutional change is intended to prevent the kind of instability brought in the past by the splintering of political parties and individual politicians’ affiliations. (Radio Vanuatu)

 

The Chairman of the national broadcasting service, VBTC, says the Board is awaiting approval to make a number of staff redundancies and to reform the Corporation. Some 25 staff members are expected to be made redundant, Chairman Jerety said. All present staff would be made redundant, given a redundancy package, and be permitted to apply to re-join the broadcasting service. Jerety said the new Board is bringing some new revenue initiatives which would return the national station to financial security. (Radio Vanuatu)

The six bus or taxi drivers accused of kidnapping and assault—the offence which has led to the new wharf management system—have all lodged not guilty pleas. Five of those arrested face three charges: one has only one offence to answer. (Daily Post)

Chiefs from North Efate are calling for measures to ensure population control. They have been on an environment and population workshop facilitated by Wan Smol Bag. They said that urban drift (from other islands) seems to be expanding now away into the rural areas, and land availability for gardens and the use of future Efatese generations is dwindling. (Daily Post)