Vanuatu daily news digest | 23 July 2014

Again this bulletin is having to be created hastily and cover two days, but so be it …

The most interesting item was simply a VBTC radio service message this morning: the Speaker and the Clerk of Parliament, Louis Kalnpel, are calling MPs to an extra-ordinary meeting of Parliament next week, the notice issued on Monday 21 July. Parliament will meet on 28 July and documents will not be sent to MPs owing to transport difficulties. It is the 3rd extra-ordinary session of Parliament for this year. Apart from the radio message there has been minimal publicity for the meeting which will take place at the time of the Independence anniversary.

Radio News this morning had the Minister of Finance calling on ministers and department heads to work with the Capital Investment Immigration Programme – CIIP, the "new product" of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission. Minister Simelum said he wanted to see the money collected under this programme, which is intended to bring wealthy investors to Vanuatu, assisting development of the country and providing the services people want. He said it is important government institutions cooperate and work together on CIIP.

However, Prime Minister Joe Natuman has announced in Daily Post today that the Government’s finances are "back on track again". He had been told by the Finance Department that "confidence is slowly being restored" as far as the private sector is concerned. The private sector had been convinced to invest in government bonds which had a poor outcome in April.

Daily Post today also has the Transparency International Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific calling for the formation of an independent, anti-coruption commission in Vanuatu. Dr Plipat had addressed a gathering for the release of the third Transparency Vanuatu National Integrity Assessment. He told the meeting "the major finding this time is the political instability in the country with changes in governments. Vanuatu is 33 years old, the country is mature and needs to work towards becoming more politically stable," he said. He mentioned the country needing to strengthen the electoral system and legislate to make political campaign funds transparent. These matters when dealt with would help reduce instability through constant changes of government. "It is important for the country and the political will to establish quickly the Anti-Corruption Independent Commission," said Dr Plipat.

Daily Post yesterday carried a full report on the amazing Talise hydro-power project on Maewo to date. It will provide two thousand people with electricity. The people of the three villages concerned are extremely proud of their accomplishment.

And Daily Post yesterday also carried the welcome news that Kanam Wilson has been appointed Chairman of the Public Service Commission. The long-serving professional in the field of HRD will bring essential skills back to the country’s management of its civil service.