Women to get reserved seats in Parliament via planned Constitutional Amendment; structure of govt up for review

Collage based on images by Graham Crumb/Imagicity.com

Collage based on images by Graham Crumb/Imagicity.com

The next sitting of Parliament on 10 June and will see tabled a Constitutional Amendment to provide for reserved seats for women in Parliament. Justice Minister Ronald Warsal told the audience of the Tana Ciné at the film The Suffragettes, sponsored by the Australian High Commission, that the Council of Ministers had so decided this week. The announcement was met with pleasure and surprise by the audience. There are matters still to be resolved, such as the number of seats reserved, and whether they will be in addition to the present seating arrangement. But the headline is guaranteed to enhance nakamal debate on the issue between 20 May and 10 June. (Daily Post carries the front page headline today.)

The Council of Ministers has agreed to a review of the entire structure of government. This includes Constitutional positions, and positions covered by official salaries regulations: the Public Service Commission, Police Service Commission and Teaching Service Commission. As has already been mentioned, political reform is also to be subjected to a similar all-embracing review. A Parliamentary Committee under Johnny Koanapo is costing some new proposed ministries. It has also been agreed to limit prime ministerial powers and to have official salaries requiring approval of Parliament before they are contracted. (Radio Vanuatu)

Today is also the day recommended by the Electoral Office for those who have recently turned 18 to get themselves on the Electoral Roll. Radio Vanuatu has repeated this continually. So do I. Today is the recommended last day for newly 18-year-olds to get themselves on the Electoral Roll.