Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 10 December 2015

The Supreme Court is sitting this afternoon to hear the Constitutional Case No. 822 which deals with the validity of the Dissolution of Parliament, now acase. The Court did not sit at 9 am as intended in order to allow all lawyers to have more time to file their responses. Former Opposition MPs and Kenneth Natapei are basing their case on article 43 of the Constitution, says Radio Vanuatu. This section deals with the collective responsibility of ministers relating to any dissolution.

Daily Post today points out that young people who have reached voting age and have not been registered yet on the electoral roll will not be able to vote at the planned post Dissolution election on 22 January.

Radio Vanuatu starts off today with an announcement of the Luganville Municipality Electoral Disputes Committee saying that the election of three candidates in the Luganville town election is null and void. They were elected in the Sarakata, West and Central wards. They have been given time to appeal.

The former Minister of Finance, Willie Jimmy Tapangararua, has told Radio Australia he will appeal the decision of his conviction under the Leadership Code Act. He bases his appeal on the belief that one cannot be tried twice for the same crime. He added that the 14 other MPs convicted and imprisoned would also be appealing.

Daily Post reports Luganville businessman Ruiqi Yao has pleaded guilty to 11 charges over contraband cigarettes. He is expected to appear in the Supreme Court for judgement on Friday. 294 cartons of cigarettes were imported in galvanised pipes which had been sealed.

Recently appointed Caretaker Public Works Minister Don Ken has wasted no time in terminating two staff over alleged misconduct. (Daily Post)

Daily Post reports former senior geologist in Vanuatu, Sandy Macfarlane, has been alarmed to see a BBC reporter using shots of part of Takara’s almost non-existent beach to suggest people there "are being driven from their homes by rising sea level." In fact Takara and Undine Bay have been rising at around a millimetre a year for the past 0.6 million years. The BBC reporter was likely using his "evidence" in relation to Climate Change and COP 21. But Takara has been rising for a lot longer than anthropogenic climate change has been going on. Vanuatu is on the rising edge of the Pacific Plate as the Australian Plate is submerged thereunder, says Macfarlane. Quite a distinction. We are thus not only being given a leg-up by Australian Aid, but also by the Australian Plate.