Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 December 2012Posted: December 3, 2012
Four backbenchers from the Kilman government have joined the Opposition in support of the motion of no confidence to be debated in the coming days. This gives the Opposition 28 votes to the Government’s 24. The electorate at the last election voted for change, unhappy with the way national affairs were conducted by the previous Government. Change would be guaranteed if the Motion of no confidence passes. On Radio New Zealand International, some coalition backbenchers said the Prime Minister had failed to keep his promise to give them ministerial portfolios.
The Vanuatu Times reports the suspension of VBTC senior journalist Antoine Malsungai following his talkback program on Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s vt13M debt to Government. This matter could determine the legitimacy of Kilman’s candidacy in the last election. Shock, horror! Malsungai has “breached the VBTC’s guidelines”. Shame that the guidelines are not actually available to the public for scrutiny. VBTC, of course, sits inside the Prime Minister’s portfolio, which seems to indicate direct censorship by Kilman of the state-owned media outlet.
The whistlestop visit of the DG of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy gave a chance for Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Ham Lini to ask for “special and differential treatment for Vanuatu as a Least Developed Country and as a Small Island State.” Lamy said his visit here was a “testament to the importance of all WTO member countries, irrespective of size.”
Radio Vanuatu News says there is a strong possibility Acting Commissioner of Police, Arthur Caulton, will be appointed to the post of Police Commissioner later today. His appointment ends on Wednesday and President Iolu Abbil is required to make a new appointment two days before the current appointment finishes.
In Freswota 5 in Port Vila, a house was burned down and a young man admitted to hospital in critical condition Sunday morning, both daily media have reported. Acting Deputy Police Commissioner John Taleo appealed to the people of Freswota to remain calm and to allow the law to deal with the situation. Police have arrested four suspects.
Nobody in the media yesterday reported the second anniversary of the media and public being thrown out of Parliament, but then we didn’t do a very good job last week reporting on the 35th anniversary of the first Unity Day, either.
Air Vanuatu’s ATR72 will be back in service tomorrow after returning from maintenance overseas. Thanks Air Tahiti for the loan of a replacement aircraft.