Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 11 November 2015

The most interesting aspect to the news today is Daily Post showing the new Deputy Prime Minister (Christophe Emelee), new Minister of Tourism (Dunstan Hilton) and new Justice Minister (Robert Bohn) at their taking office. The swearing-in of Emelee was said to have happened yesterday afternoon. However, no mention was made on the Radio Vanuatu News at 6 this morning. Additionally there was no "Up-date News" at 9. Possibly these appointments were announced on Radio Vanuatu in advance of the signing-in. Rado Vanuatu (VBTC) is heavily financed by Government. Emelee stood as a Vanuatu National Party candidate in the 2012 election. Hilton stood as a Peoples’ Progressive Party candidate (the party of the Prime Minister) in the same constituency as Emelee, Banks. Robert Bohn, Epi MP, stood for the Vanuatu Progressive Development Party and seems to have been that party’s only candidate at that time.

The Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW) is holding a forum on the present political and administrative impasse tomorrow, Thursday afternoon, at Owen Hall at 2 pm which will continue through the afternoon. Radio Vanuatu has been repeatedly telling us of the event at which women leaders have been chosen to speak on different topics. Daily Post, however, gives no prominence to the matter. That said, Daily Post did give considerable coverage to the visit of northern chiefs bearing custom gifts to the capital recently – chiefs who finally made a connection with the Malvatumauri. The visiting chiefs largely represented UMP, Nagriamel or VRP, having connections with those parties’ leaders, and much of the financing of their visit is understood by the Opposition to have come from NISCOL, the stevedoring company based in Luganville. There was also a Tanna chief from MP Thomas Laken’s political party.

Daily Post tells us today that if PM Kilman accepts the Opposition’s proposal for a GNU, we could have a budget in advance of 1 January 2016. This could be debated before the end of 2015 in the normal way.

Daily Post also has interesting news today from French Ambassador Alain du Boispéan concerning the COP21 Paris climate talks. France is still waiting for Vanuatu’s INDCs – its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has been asking for these country contributions for two years. It’s to be hoped these will see professional statements from Vanuatu’s climatologists and their colleagues. And we surely do not want ill-educated politicians spending big money for trips for crony delegations. The COP21 begins at the end of this month, so we should soon know who our delegates will be. COP21 is providing the most important international assembly for probably a decade.