Vanuatu daily news digest | 29 November 2012

The Supreme Court has received 24 election petitions. They were all received in the legal time limit after the announcement of official results for the election. The Chief Justice is arranging the appropriate hearing dates for the complaints, says Radio Vanuatu News.

Radio Vanuatu News also tells us that the Ministry of Health will readvertise the executive positions announced as vacant this week. In a bizarre move, the new Minister, who has recently sacked many senior civil servants, and more recently again took up a new Director General before DG names had been made official, has in the same week announced he will give an opportunity for others—including the formerly sidelined professionals—to apply (again). New Minister of Health Don Ken says “immediate steps are being taken to restore confidence in Health.”

Daily Post has established the names of the three new Directors General. It appears that Johnny Koanapo will replace Jean Sese in Foreign Affairs, Howard Aru will become DG of Health, and William Nasak has already replaced Jeffrey Wilfred at Agriculture. Prime Minister Sato Kilman is in a rush to have the the DG civil service posts thrown out in favour of political appointees as soon as possible.

Santo fisherman Fabrice Moderan raises the spectre of vast quantities of fish being illegally taken from Vanuatu waters by foreign fishing vessels flying the Vanuatu flag in Daily Post today. It was recently announced that Vanuatu would license purse seiners to fish in Vanuatu waters, but it was not made clear whether there were other conditions such as joining the Vanuatu registry. Moderan and his crew have found driftnets filled with thousands of dead protected and endangered species, including whales and sharks. Discarded longlines containing hundreds of hooks have also been retrieved by Moderan and his gamefishing crew.

Happy Unity Day everyone.