Decentralisation to see Vt 20M budget for each Area Council, says MP Williams; Air Vanuatu passes IATA Operational Safety AuditPosted: August 19, 2016
The big news at lunchtime today with the national broadcaster is the Salwai Government to make payments directly to area councils to improve the administration of rural affairs, starting next year. The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Albert Williams, revealed Read the rest of this entry »
The Director of the Environment Unit, Albert Williams, approves the use of Parliament Park for the proposed convention centre. Meetings on the subject have taken place as far back as 2010, he told Daily Post, and it was agreed another space (other than the park close to Parliament) should be used for festivals and events such as Independence. The mayor of Port Vila has also given his approval to the project and questions MP Ralph Regenvanu’s failure to support it. Those against the new project, including Regenvanu, don’t support it because the project has already been built—It was built at the Le Lagon resort for the ACP/EU Ministerial Summit last year. Those against the proposal question the Vanuatu Government’s ability to maintain a new convention centre, given the Government’s failure to maintain ndependence Park and Korman Stadium. Even Parliament House itself, another ‘gift’ from China, looks like it is not being properly maintained at present.
A committee has met to re-count the votes cast in Santo during last year’s election. This is expected to be completed this week, and the result communicated to the court on 25 January. Lawyers, the principal electoral officer and the Electoral Commission comprise the committee, Radio Vanuatu News says. The news did not make it clear whether this was for Santo Rural or Luganville constituency, both of which are reported to have disputes.
A ministerial-level Chinese police delegation visit is taking place. The unannounced mission has included talks at VANSEC House and a guard-of-honour, VBTC News says today.
Dominique Dinh tells Daily Post today of the extensive planning he has carried out for a new 747 airport for South East Efate. He challenges Government to pick up the project, or he will himself find the investors to carry out the work. Even though the 747 is on its way out. He has enlisted the assistance of Vaturisu President Chief Andrew Kalpoilep and the Secretary General of of Shefa Province, Michel Kalworai. In the past, the Dinh family has been closely allied to Trade Minister Ham Lini of NUP who, last week, directed Shefa and the Vaturisu and land owners to find a site for such an airport following promises he had received from Korean investors. Efate land owners seeking to keep control of the remaining few unleased pieces of their birthright have not been consulted.
The Opposition has filed an urgent constitutional case against the Speaker of Parliament George Wells for failing to accept their written request to call an extraordinary sitting of Parliament to debate the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Sato Kilman. The Speaker, in Radio Vanuatu News and Daily Post, alleges various MPs have told him they want their signatures removed from the motion. However, Opposition spokesman Ralph Regenvanu says this is not for the Speaker to decide: Parliament alone must decide where any waverer in the matter stands. This is how the courts have previously treated such motions. The Constitution says the sitting must be called.
PM Sato Kilman’s premiership is also under stress because of the electoral petition case lodged by MP Willie Jimmy. The case began yesterday before a packed Supreme Court at Dumbea Hall, Daily Post reported. The case is primarily concerned with whether or not the Prime Minister owed monies to the Vanuatu Government as alleged, thereby disqualifying his candidacy. Mr Jimmy’s counsel filed for an amendment to the petition and the case will be continued at 2pm Friday. Another electoral petition against MP (and now Minister) Toara Daniel was thrown out because of “insufficient evidence”, VBTC News reported.
Daily Post features the hunt for high-ranking officers for mutiny on its front page. Former Police Commissioner Joshua Bong and 15 others have either been arrested or are still sought following the September incident which saw the arrest of the Acting Commissioner Arthur Caulton and other senior personnel. The Daily Post story suggests Ministers Ham Lini and George Wells, President Iolu Abbil and Police Chief of Staff Ron Tamtam were also to be arrested by the Bong group. The matter is being treated as a mutiny.