Transparency Vanuatu’s post-election ‘to-do’ list; Vanuatu aviation students expelled due to non-payment by Vanuatu GovtPosted: January 21, 2016
With 14 MPs from the just disbanded Parliament in prison, and just 20 hours left before Vanuatu voters choose those who will form a new one, Transparency Vanuatu is calling on voters to ensure MP integrity and support for the rule of law. Transparency sees a need for substantial reforms in the political system to make Parliamentarians more representative and responsible to the citizens of this country. Regulation of political parties through new legislation to control political finances, accurate updating of the electoral roll and putting the voting system beyond abuse are seen as essential. But TIV’s Dr Willie Tokon adds revision of the parliamentary standing orders, regulations concerning MP allocations, and rules about no-confidence motions must also be considered essential. Last, but not least, TIV’s Chairman insists the Right to Information Bill gets enacted and the Ombudsman Act and Leadership Code are expanded.
The large number of election observers reflects the widely held view that we have left many of the items on the TIV “to do” list for rather too long a time. Election observers represent the Commonwealth, Forum Secretariat, MSG, EU, Australia, New Zealand, China the UK and USA, Daily Post points out this morning. The Dept. of Internal Affairs’ Cherol Ala yesterday told of the immense task in organizing the snap election in such a very short time. There was the added difficulty of the Principal Electoral Officer being taken seriously unwell in the midst of the huge preparations. However, apart from the difficulties perceived on Tanna the electoral process has run smoothly over very long days. Tomorrow will be the longest. 262 candidates are contesting and 200,159 voters should be deciding who best can achieve what Dr Tokon has asked for.
The bottom line: 14 MPs being in gaol and staying there might suggest it is time we have to know and trust those for whom we are voting.
The Melbourne, Australia Weekly Times newspaper has pointed out that Arthur Kaluat, son of Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat, is one of those allegedly hugely underpaid by Emmanuel Bani of Maroochy Sunshine, a labour recruitment body for farm workers in Australia. The Fair Work Ombudsman in Australia is taking PNG/Australian dual national Bani to court in the matter. Kaluat wants to see changes to the Seasonal Worker Programme to prevent exploitation.
Daily Post yesterday pointed out that Vanuatu Government failure to forward tuition fees has caused two students to be dropped from the Airline Link aviation college in the Philippines.
The Vanuatu Mini-Games in 2017 may be delayed until December next year says Games Chairman Joe Carlo, according to RNZI. Cyclone Pam set matters back and then the political corruption at the end of 2015 just increased the burden. Joe Carlo hopes this will be set straight with a new government soonest.
Happy Voting Day tomorrow!