Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 January 2015

The weekend papers were interesting over particular issues. The first was the likely drop in fuel prices come 1 February. Pacific Petroleum’s Randall Vallette promised an initial reduction in February to be followed by more lowering of the price in the months to come, based on their 55-day rotation period for tankers to bring petroleum products from Singapore. In The Independent, MP Robert Bohn challenges Vallette’s statement about the rotation period suggesting that with Pacific Petroleum’s monopoly, Vanuatu was the first place to put prices up when the world oil price rlses, but the last country to lower them when they fell. Daily Post gives a different rotation period for tanker arrivals. The price in Vanuatu for unleaded benzine has remained at VT 174 a litre.

The Independent was also particularly interesting on the appointment of a state prosecutor from overseas who has lately been declared a prohibited immigrant. Acting Public Prosecutor John William Timakata says Christopher Griggs’ appointment "remains unclear". Griggs had no work permit and left significant personal debt on departure. The general public must surely be concerned that such an appointment can ever take place. What is the role of the Public Service Commission in the matter? Was the PSC involved?

Also very interesting at the weekend: the Council of Ministers agrees to a price rise for electoral disputes from VT 20,000 to VT 1 million to prevent "superficial election disputes." How right. Some have taken years to finalize.

There will likely be another Vanuatu daily news digest later today.