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Vanuatu News: Speaker of Parliament, Phillip Boedoro has won the Constitutional challenge case. The Vanuatu Government Speaker decision to not schedule Parliament for a Vote of no confidence called on by the Opposition has been upheld by the Chief Justice. 

According to media reports; The Chief Justice agreed with the Speaker that the required number of signatures was not enough to be counted. 

The chief justice Vincent Lunabek ruled Boedoro was right to reject the opposition push after the signatures of four MPs were withdrawn from the motion.

The four MPs had told the court last week that their signatures were on the document but they had been supplied for other purposes and were not intended as part of a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister, Moana Carcasses.

Justice Lunabek has also ruled that the newly elected Tanna MP, Pascal Iauko, could not sign the request because he hadn’t been sworn in.

But he says the suspended Luganville MP, Georges Wells, was entitled to sign.

The news means that even if the Ham Lini lead Opposition was to arrange a new motion and deposited it to the speaker, it would still require 7 days notice, leaving the Members of Parliament to meet after Independence Day on July 30th.  

The Vanuatu Government Ministers have continued to express their confidence in loyalty numbers and today's decision by the Chief Justice confirms that Prime Minister Moana Carcasses will be making the Independence Day address next Tuesday. 
The Signing of the Vanuatu Constitution
VANUATU NEWS - The Vanuatu judiciary has shown a great commitment as a pillar of Vanuatu's democracy by staying back two days in a row well after court hours. On Friday evening, the Judges presiding over the Opposition submitted Constitution challenge received submissions from Counsel and the State Law Office until after 8pm Port Vila time.  

If the Speaker had accepted the original request for a Motion of Parliament sitting then the MP's would have met on Thursday 18th July 2013 and vote on the motion of no confidence in the Moana Carcasses Government.

According to people in Court attendance on Friday evening, judgement will be announced on Tuesday 23rd  July, one week before Vanuatu Independence Day.

VANUATU NEWS The Court house remains busy for a second afternoon regarding the Constitutional case on Vote of no Confidence as Vanuatu Political observers and the Vanuatu Politicians themselves await for Judgement.

Jeff Joel Patunvanu-Assistant Secretary to the Leader of Opposition posted yesterday morning that the Vanuatu Supreme Court was adjourned this morning until 2 pm this afternoon  to hear the Constitutional case. This is in regards to the decision made by the Speaker of Parliament to reject the Motion of No Confidence. The case has been brought to the courts by the Leader of Opposition, Ham Lini.

According to people at the Port Vila Supreme court house, at 6pm Thursday 18th July, local time, the hearing is still continuing.

LATEST UPDATE 7.00 pm (18/7/2013)  - Constitutional Case "Adjourned till 2pm Friday 19th July, 2013. "

LATEST UPDATE 4.30 pm Friday (19/7/2013) - Constitutional Case continues. Various senior Vanuatu Government Ministers in the court.  Cross examinations continue.   

PicturePM Carcasses Kalosil on front cover
VANUATU BUSINESS NEWS: Leading Pacific Islands Business News Magazine - Islands Business  has featured Moana Carcasses Kalosil on the cover of the July 2013 edition. The magazine has a huge coverage throughout the Pacific and via subscription world wide. The companies editorial and creative teams are stationed in Suva, IBI has experienced correspondents in all the major Pacific islands nations and an office in Auckland. IBI's publications are distributed throughout the Pacific islands as also in Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Southeast Asia and Japan.

The feature article explains PM Kalosils agenda in the following categories;

MSG West Papua
MSG Trade
Economic Participation of ni-Vanuatu
Tourism Investments
Climate Change
West Papua
Government Stability
Holding Council of Ministers’ Meeting in the Provinces
Diplomatic Appointments
Illegal sale of public land
PORT VILA NEWS Lord Mayor Mayor Reuben Olul's council has been given a warning from Internal Affairs Minister Patrick Crowby regarding the Port Vila Municipal Councils finances. Port Vila council has been undergoing several years of financial pressure due to late and unpaid land rent taxes.

Lord Mayor Mayor Reuben Olul has been actively running a dedicated debt reminding system within the council and it is hoped this can bring enough increased revenue/repayment of old debts.  Internal Affairs Minister Patick Crowby  has used the example of appointing councillors in the Lenakel Municipality.

The land tax in Port Vila is calculated by Town Planning and Evaluation Unit. Factors such as Location, Quality of building and Materials used in the building determines the value of the property hence the Property Tax is calculated as 5.5% of the rateable value of the property.

According to the Port Vila council website If you wish to make Payment for your Property Tax Bill or if you wish to make arrangements for your payments.please contact Alice on
(678) 24398  or Mobile : 53 53201. Or Port Vila Council website here
-The property Tax Bills get sent out to property owners twice a year that is on a 6 monthly basis.
-The first half (semester 1)of the bills were distributed by end of December of every year and MUST be paid by 15th of March of the following year.
-Surcharges of 5% will be added if payments are made after 15th of March.
-The second half (semester 2) is distributed at the end of June and payments MUST be made by 15th September of the same year.
-Again 5% surcharge is added if payment was made after that date.

PictureLeader of Opposition Ham Lini MP
VANUATU NEWS: Opposition Leader Ham Lini says the reasons given by the speaker to reject his motion are politically motivated and in response he has deposited a constitutional application with the Vanuatu Courts.

MP Ham Lini, who is the brother of the Late Fr. Walter Lini (Vanuatu's first Prime Minister) has previously been quoted as saying he expected a change in the Government before Independence Day celebrations on July 30th 2013.  His party, National United Party, has once again become fully united with the return of Morkin Stephens Tanna MP and the alliance with former NUP leader Willy Jimmy (who was elected in the last election as his own party). MP Willy Jimmy was the Minister of Finance at the commencement of the Moana Carcasses Government and Morkin Stephens was the deputy Speaker. Now they have both returned to the Ham Lini / Sato Kilman Opposition.

The other party that was disunited following the resignation of Sato Kilman and election of the new Moana Carcasses Government is the Nagriamel Party. Nagriamel is now united with MP John Lum and Samsen Samson, the former Aviation Minister in the Sato Kilman lead Government has also joined the opposition.  Tourism and Commerce : Marcelino Pipite in both the Sato lead and Moana Carcasses lead Governments was removed by the Prime Minister last week after signing the Motion of no confidence.

The Speaker Says

Philip Boedoro claims that the opposition had forged the signatures of three government MPs.

Also said the newly elected member of parliament for Tanna, Pascal Iauko Junior, was not allowed to sign the motion because he hadn’t been sworn in yet.

Also that former speaker and the MP of Santo, Georges Wells, should not have signed the motion because he has been suspended.

The Opposition Says

Ham Lini has submitted a constitutional application, challenging the speaker of parliament’s decision to reject an opposition motion of no confidence with 28 signatures.

The opposition leader, Ham Lini, says the reasons given by the speaker are politically motivated.

The decision to declare the motion had not been in order had come from the government.

The opposition wants Mr Carcasses out of his position as prime minister because his leadership could cause Vanuatu to lose its sovereignty.
VANUATU NEWS: The letter delivered on Thursday 11th July 2013 rejecting the proposed Motion of No Confidence signed by the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu; Phillip Boedoro is now public. The speaker explains that the  Motion against the Hon. Prime Minister Moana Carcasses is not in order through process and substance. A signature expert has been used by the Government Speaker to substantiate a claim of forgery, The Opposition has rejected this accusation. 
The full letter has been shared by the Hon. Minister of Lands, Ralph Reganvanu to the Yumi Tok Stret forum on Facebook. The letter is addressed from the Speaker of Parliament to leading opposition members;  

Hon. Ham Lini Vanuaroroa, Leader of the Opposition 
Hon. Sato Kilman, Deputy Leader of the Opposition 
Hon. John Lum, Member for Santo 
Hon. Charlot Salwai, Member for Pentecost 
Hon. Willie Jimmy Tapangarua, Member for Port Vila 
Hon. Paul B. Telukluk, Member for Malekula 

Procedural items mentioned in the letter include
  • The former speaker Hon. George Wells is still under suspension as per motion number 14 of 2013 and consequently can not sign the motion.
  • The motion was also signed by the newly elected member of Tanna constituency Pascal Harry Iauko Junior who doesn't yet taken an official oath of allegiance to the people and nation of the Republic of Vanuatu. 
Furthermore, In a very strong accusation, the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu; Phillip Boedoro letter claims forgery signatures for 
Hon. Prasad Arnold (Member for Santo Rural) 
Hon. John Amos (Member for Tongoa)
Hon. Toara Daniel Minister of Justice (Member for Sheperds Outer Islands)
Hon. James Jonah (Member for Paama) 
The full letter can be downloaded here: 
File Size: 1118 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Social Networks claim Ministerial changes 

Meanwhile, according to Political forum Facebook posts, Political observers are stating that 
Prime Minister Moana Carcasses terminated one of his cabinet ministers Marcelino Pipite ( Santo Rural MP). Pipite was terminated because he supported the motion of non-confidence deposited against the current government. The portfolio of ministry of trade is now vacant and PM Carcasses is the acting minister.

The Opposition’s Motion of No Confidence carried the signature of two other Government Ministers and three other Government backbenchers - namely: Marcellino Pipite – the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industries’ Thomas Laken – Minister of Climate Change, and MPs Samsen Samson, Hosea Nevu, and Christopher Emelee.

Lands Minister Hon. Ralph Reganvanu does not agree with MP George Wells not being included 

"There are parts of the response I don't agree with - eg, Wells DOES have the right to sign the motion because he's still an MP but he just cannot enter the parliamentary precinct - I think the speaker's ruling is wrong on that issue"   
Minister  RALPH REGANVANU to Facebook forum.
Vanuatu News - The current Ham-Lini lead opposition submitted motion of no confidence in the PM Moana Carcasses Kalosil Government has not been accepted by the Speaker. Reports by Bob Makin explain that this is on the basis of the signatures being taken from other documents. Two other reasons cited are the Tanna MP of recent bi-election not being sworn in to the Parliament and that the former Speaker George Wells has been barred from parliamentary proceedings. 

Meanwhile, the new Justice Minister Toara Daniel has been quoted by the Daily Post as saying; the country’s answer to dealing with serious crime issues, in his view, is not the death penalty but increased enforcement and compliance for the laws of the country. See full article from Daily Post. 

Therefore, there is no motion and no death penalty for Vanuatu. However, the case number 20 of Electoral claims continues in the Supreme Court of Vanuatu. PM Moana Carcasses Kalosil is scheduled to be in court today to answer allegations related to the 2012 General Election.  It is not clear how long the Judiciary will take to deliberate their judgement.  

VANUATU NEWS: According to a Bob Makin  online article yesterday, Vanuatu diplomat Pascal Ahn Quan Saken says he is a bit tired of what’s happened in the politics of Vanuatu and that  he met Minister Natapei in Brussels during recent weeks and received nothing but commendation from the minister about his work as a diplomat. 

 Makin quotes the Radio New Zealand International as his source. The article conflicts with earlier reports when Edward Natapei was Vanuatu's opposition leader and Radio New Zealand stated that he felt the publicity around the Phocea, owned by Mr Saken, has been negative. It was actually part of the vote of no confidence motion that they had been planning against former Prime Minister Sato Kilman. 
On the 14th March 2013 Mr Natapei was reported as saying, among other things, the affairs surrounding the superyacht Phocea have damaged Vanuatu’s reputation as the cause for the proposed motion of no confidence. 
In the end, the motion was never necessary as the Prime Minister resigned and asked parliament to elect someone who could deliver national unity.  The Vanuatu opposition was thus blocked in its effort to hold a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Sato Kilman, by his resignation whom he stated that, in democracy, resignation would be the most honorable thing to do. 
 Conflicting media reports regarding the Vanuatu diplomats status have been common . Last week news reports said Pascal Ahn Quan Saken had had his status revoked. In any case, according to current news, the diplomats view is:
“I think I’m a bit tired of what’s happened in the politics of Vanuatu. That’s the reason why I expressed my intention to resign next month and I would focus on the private sector and especially on my (chartered) yachting business which is expanding really rapidly.”
VANUATU BUSINESS NEWS: The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) working with three more foreign TV companies to film in Vanuatu islands. Port-Vila, Espiritu Santo and Tanna islands will all benefit from wider exposure, 
Film production companies are choosing Vanuatu for their travel programs, location shoots and film backdrops. This is having a positive effect on Vanuatu tourism, which is great news for the industry. 

“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved this year especially with the Australian Bureau of Statistics recording higher visitor number than last year in February, 2013. February is traditionally a low month for us, however this February Vanuatu was the only Pacific country to have growth in visitor numbers with Australian visitors and we are very excited that Vanuatu is attracting more travellers.  “Because of these great results, I acknowledge and congratulate our international VTO reps for their  proactive approach and speedy communication in securing these film crews.” added Ms Kalpoi.