Dummy spit? Yesterday, Opposition Leader Ishmael Kalsakau was reliably reported by national radio as saying that the Government is seeking to avoid the the full advisory consultation the people deserve on the constitutional changes which the bipartisan Constitutional Review Committee is working on. He also complained that the Government is forcing income tax on people (which is not really true, since all that has happened so far is that it has started a discussion on the topic.) And PACER Plus got a swipe when we have been debating it for over a decade, along with every other Pacific island country.
Today we learn that Read the rest of this entry »
Parliament proceeded with business yesterday afternoon and this morning. A motion of no confidence in the government was before it, but 6 MPs who signed it have withdrawn their signatures. The opposition side yesterday claimed it had 31 MPs, before the 6 MPs had a change of heart. The motion will be tabled next Wednesday – if it lasts until then, that is.
There were said to be 39 MPs yesterday supporting the Government plan to deal with the referendum relating to constitutional change. There was one Read the rest of this entry »
Nine countries were represented at the Pacific Constitutions Research Network which began a searching conference in Port Via this morning. It is the inaugural conference and workshop, bringing legal minds together. Vanuatu has had a great many changes to its Constitution, as we know. But PNG has had even more: many more, as Dr Eric Kwa of the PNG Law Reform Commission told constitutional legislators this morning after the conference was opened by our Ombudsman and former Head of State, Kalkot Mataskelekele. However, Dr Kwa was pleased to point out that the PNG Constitution had held that country together despite the many languages and cultures, political persuasions and various corrupt practices. PNG has had so much need of protection of its core values and the Constitution has provided this. Constitutions are extremely important in Melanesian countries, as we are for ever seeing in Read the rest of this entry »
The big news today is that the former MPs, ministers and PM jailed for bribery must remain imprisoned. Their offence was a criminal one. Justice James Geoghegan reminded the court that the Article 27 (2) of the Vanuatu Constitution does not provide MPs with immunity from prosecution. He was also certain that the constitutional provision of 27 (2) was not relevant to the requirement the MPs attend the Magistrates’ Court on what is considered by the MPs legal advisors as the key date in the matter, June 12, 2015. Justice Geoghegan said the primary purpose of 27 (2) is to enable Parliament to attend to its business and MPs to attend sittings. (Daily Post)
The other big news this week was the release of some information concerning the Parliamentary sittings, immediately after we complained that MPs were expected to arrive in the capital without the necessary documentation. We believe MPs must be able to discuss proposed legislation with constituents before parliamentary sittings in order to take their views to the House. This failure on the part of Parliament is compounded when Government is seeking in one of the sittings to introduce a Right to Information Act—which Vanuatu Daily Digest fully supports.
The full details concerning the parliamentary agenda have not been publicised, regrettably, but in brief this is what we are to expect: Read the rest of this entry »
President Baldwin Lonsdale, Vanuatu PM Charlot Salwai and Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare are travelling to the Banks Islands today to sign the historical new border treaty with Solomon Islands. The leaders will participate in a cultural festival at Motalava until late today, and Vetande Island is being declared a cultural marine park. Negotiations between the two countries for a border agreement began in 1983 and are being completed according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is the first such agreement for Vanuatu and similar future boundary decisions are Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Constitution Day! Plus–Air Zealand clears Airbus A320s to land; Solomon Islands PM Sogavare on official visitPosted: October 5, 2016
Happy Constitution Day, Vanuatu! President Baldwin Lonsdale has just addressed those attending the annual celebration, reminding them of the necessity of following the Mama Law of Vanuatu which has seen many infringements in the last 12 months by persons elected to represent us. The ceremony takes place in the small square in front of the Port Vila Market where the original document was signed in 1979 (as shown in the image above).
Plus, there is more good news today, Read the rest of this entry »