Sato Kilman’s candidacy for general election in doubt as Vt 13 million in outstanding rent goes unpaid

Radio New Zealand International last night said had Caretaker PM Sato Kilman still owes about Vt 13 million on outstanding rent on the house which has recently been given to him by Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau for just Vt 900,000. This therefore remains a debt to the Vanuatu Government by its leader which should disqualify Kilman from candidacy in the October 30 election. Veteran ni-Vanuatu journalist Hilaire Bule says Treasury personnel report holding four unpaid invoices showing the debts Kilman needs to clear. The Caretaker Finance Minister and Caretaker PM are in different political parties.

Caretaker PM Kilman seems more concerned with the fraud which he expects to happen in the five days between 24 October, when campaigning ends, and 30 October when we go to vote. He did not mention his alleged outstanding debt in the broadcast. “The long period between the end of campaigning and the election date can mean an excessive number of electoral complaints, leading to electoral petitions which can cost the country a lot of money”, said the Kilman on Radio Vanuatu News last night. He was asking the Electoral Commission to move the campaign date — presumably the campaign-close one, as the campaign is already well underway.

Kilman also explained he had moved the Principal Electoral Officer, Lawson Samuel to another post because he and the Government cannot have allegations of possible bias. It was not spelled out what these allegations of bias against Lawson Samuel are. On the other hand, The Caretaker PM’s Political Adviser Richard Kaltongga told RNZI that Samuel had made “errors… in the compilation of the candidates list.” He goes on to call the Caretaker PM’s debt “a mistake by the Value Added Tax office.”

Kaltongga goes on to reveal “some other stuff like for example in the past with the ballot boxes going to and from the islands. The security for that is usually done by the police force and the Vanuatu Mobile Force. But the Electoral Officer signed a contract with a private security company owned by police officers currently under suspension.”

Moving on to that other pantomime, the one presently before the courts, the Public Prosecutor has dropped two counts against the skipper of the Phocea, Richard Bob Malaise. Daily Post reports the two charges of “uttering, producing or making a document containing false information”, and making use of such a document, were withdrawn — at least as regards Richard Bob Malaise. The kudos for this exploit now goes to  that collector of desirable Santo kastom names and billionaire class sailing boats — fugitive from Vanuatu justice Pascal Vu Anh Quan ‘Saken’. This blog confidently believes, however, his name is not on the candidates list. Nor any other Saken. That’s really the only good news we can give you today.