Carcasses and Natapei optimistic ahead of censure motion

In the midday news on VBTC today, PM Carcasses and DPM Natapei indicated their confidence to win the motion of censure of their administration tomorrow. In a press conference this morning they stressed that they have a majority of 35 MPs in the House and a position of strength. More of their comments will be heard in the bulletin of VBTC at 6 this evening.

Readers have been expecting political news in view of the confidence motion. However, all media appeared to have lost interest in the numbers game which is generally the principal topic at such times. This writer is not aware of any media having commented upon the original seeming necessity for Parliament to complete its sitting last Friday even though many Bills were still awaiting discussion. Were these Bills not important? However, Parliament it was said would continue until the motion on Thursday. Fine: they met on Monday. But then there was a move to suspend the sitting to enable MPs to study a new batch of Bills which had arrived Monday. This was defeated because since MPs were all present, at least it would be making good use of their time to advance their work a little. So they continued to meet. They were not meeting this morning. Council of Ministers?

Earlier this week in Parliament, VBTC News reported Opposition MP Charlot Salwai cautioning Government it must properly register diplomatic passports issued – and publicize the information. Such consul positions as those for which the Government will receive Vt 35 million, under the Foreign Service Act, are required to pay the money before they can receive their diplomatic passport.

A decision of the Supreme Court requires a reassessment of the compensation to Kilbride Limited for the Government to acquire the lease to Nelson Mandela Park, Daily Post reported yesterday. A Lands Department valuation of Vt 66.5 million compared significantly unfavourably to Kilbride’s market valuations of Vt 207 million and 245.8 million. At issue was the significance of the date of the acquisition.

The Government is to guarantee a Bred Bank loan to Air Vanuatu for the purchase of a new ATR72 plane. Finance Minister Simelum tabled the motion for the loan Tuesday afternoon and it had the support of the whole House. The amount required is Vt 1.2 billion. Vt 353 million was also needed to pay for a new Twin Otter plane already in service. The Twin Otter is for servicing internal routes, the ATR for overseas services regionally.

Vanuatu’s National Day for Women is tomorrow Thursday 15 May, the 34th anniversary of the Vanuatu National Council of Women. National President Blandine Boulekone said the main celebration would take place at PMC beginning at 9 am.