Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 11 December 2015

The Constitutional (Dissolution) case verdict will be delivered on December 16, next Wednesday.This date holds, said Justice Aru, even though the former Opposition, which had brought the case, had wanted Parliament to sit from next Monday, December 14, as previously proposed by the Acting Speaker as a date for the Second Ordinary sitting. All submissions were presented yesterday in the Supreme Court’s Dumbea hothouse. Ronald Warsal, representing the Opposition side, argued that 5 weeks and 3 days for the Head of State to decide on dissolution was "too long" a time to wait following the Council of Ministers’ decision and at a time when the Prime Minister was running a minority government. Daily Post’s Jane Joshua carries an excellent report of yesterday’s court hearing, today. President Lonsdale’s counsel, Ishmael Kalsakau, argued that in two similar past cases the President’s use of the dissolution was at his "unfettered discretion."

Daily Post today also has Air Vanuatu announcing a major restructuring which it is hoped will lead to its re-certification on the IATA operational safety audit register. Some staff redundancy is expected with the project to restructure.

150 exam marking teachers are furious that their contracts are not being properly honoured. There is it seems, presently, no budget to pay for their services which have been ongoing since June. These are services for their work in creating exam papers since June and then marking them. They have been told they will be paid next year.

Malvatumauri President , Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe, says it is not yet the right time to organise the reconciliation the visiting chiefs from the north had sought. Daily Post reports this was in connection with the imprisonment of the 14 MPs recently. He appealed for peace and calm until the political situation returns to normalcy. Many chiefs and people would hope, too, that Chief Seni Mau Tirsupe might soon be returned to his position of presidency of the Vanuatu Cultural Council, a post in which, as required by his Malvatumauri title, he was performing highly commendably until put aside by one of the now imprisoned ministers. Custom and culture should also be returned to normalcy the public feels. (Digest Editor’s observation and comment)