Vanuatu daily news digest | 3 December 2014

Motions and constitutional cases were quickly put aside as might have been interpreted from yesterday’s brief Vanuatu daily news digest. The constitutional case of the suspension of the 16 MPs alleged to have been involved in bribery was dismissed and the MPs returned to Parliament. Justice Saksak stated that the Speaker should have had the petitioners tried by a competent court of law in the matter of the offences against them first of all. And in a truly ni-Vanuatu and Melanesian fashion, the Opposition then dropped its motion of no confidence against PM Natuman.

Radio Vanuatu News was then able to launch its bulletin today off to a flying start with the encouraging news that government will take out a loan of 8 billion vatu from the Exim Bank of China to upgrade Luganville wharf and facilities. Finance Minister Simelum tabled the motion in which certain translation mistakes had been made, causing a delay in the Bill getting to members. The full House supported the motion as very important for Vanuatu’s economy. Leader of the Opposition Carcasses was pleased the Natuman Government shares his concern (earlier expressed) for the northern wharf facility.

Prime Minister Natuman, at the launch of the West Papua Leaders’ Forum on their Independence, yesterday, pointed out how the very small nation of Vanuatu had been able to influence the course of history to some degree with the position it took on French testing of nuclear weapons. Vanuatu was heard in international forums in which the world’s rich and powerful countries were also speaking, VBTC listeners were reminded. Natuman was speaking in support of Vanuatu’s stand to assist West Papuan independence objectives.

A one-day consultation of police commissioners from MSG countries took place last week in Port Vila. Information sharing and working together were on the agenda.

PM Natuman stressed the need for maintenance of government buildings in Parliament, Radio Vanuatu News reported today. "We have let government buildings run down since Independence," he said. "We have no proper government policy in place. Government housing rent for civil servants – especially police – is totally insufficient to maintain the buildings concerned." He mentioned the poor state of Parliament’s building causing his hearers to wonder how the new convention centre will be able to cope with maintenance.

The Asian Development Bank expects the Vanuatu economy to grow by 4% next year. Daily Post reports the ADB saying "amid the threat of a weakening global economy dampening growth prospects in the Pacific, Vanuatu’s growth outlook of 4% for 2015 remains strong. Daily Post carries the page one story.