Vanuatu daily news digest | 24 October 2013

Apologies for no bulletin yesterday. This service attempts to cover all the main news stories of which everyone should be aware, but there are days when there is little to report. However …

Yesterday the Supreme Court learned of costly political bungling in the matter of the appointment of a Governor of the Reserve Bank. Odo Tevi had been easily and correctly, it seems, re-appointed after two successful terms which won him the respect of the banking community here and overseas. However, Prime Minister Carcasses, determined to have other minds at work on the Reserve Bank board, managed to have the director-general of his office, Simeon Athy, appointed instead of Tevi when the Finance Minister was away, and a second attempt to have Tom Bayer on the board appears to have been successful. These moves come at a time when legislation regarding RBV decision-making is scheduled for parliamentary debate. This may well cost the country eighty to 100 million vatu, the Republic of Vanuatu now included in the matter, as Tevi’s submissions concerning indemnification for abrupt cancellation of his contract were not disputed. There will, however, be more hearings, when the Republic has prepared itself, and the case will not get to court before December, Daily Post reports today. By then the legislation wanted by the PM will have been passed anyway.

Yesterday saw the country’s first ever National Youth Parliament in which 52 young people sat at the government and opposition benches in the national assembly and went through a process of tabling and debating a Bill and other matters. The Daily Post report said that a Bill to permit women to seek abortions in clearly defined circumstances proved abortion still to be a contentious subject. Some present and former ministers of state attended in the public gallery. The event was sponsored by Transparency Vanuatu, UNDP, Live and Learn and other partners and supported by Speaker Boedoro.

Today is an open day at Parliament at which the work of the supreme national legislative body will be outlined for everyone, VBTC News reported. An historical exhibition is also planned and there are tents for "stake-holder exhibitions" and displays related to their work. Louis Kalnpel, Clerk of Parliament, says the day will provide an opportunity for everyone to see how the work of customary law giving and the Westminster system coincide. Everyone is welcome. It’s just a shame about the weather.

Port Vila Municipality has had its property, the Dumbea Hall, in doubt following failure to pay all required for land intended for a new cemetery. Daily Post reported yesterday that the amount of money involved and owed to Daniel Yawha and Peter Bong is VT 170 million. Since then, however, records have been examined and a total of VT 30 million established by the municipality of which a first payment has been made, and a stay order on the premises has been issued.

Post yesterday also reported Fiji President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on an official visit and inspecting a guard of honour at the airport. Today he is supposed to meet the Prime Minister.

The Nurses Association seems to have taken a step back from its threat of a strike. There was a mis-understandiing.

A new National Education Commission is outlined in Post today.

Yasur tribes have threatened action over alleged "false promises" from Entani Limited concerning Yasur volcano. Court cases over Yasur ownership and operations go way back to the New Hebridean ‘Seventies.