THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU delivered his statement at His Excellency’s Residence this afternoon to a room packed with media personals. In his statement the President emphasized the need to uphold Vanuatu’s national integrity, he further stressed that at the moment Vanuatu’s credibility does not look good, and he deeply apologies for this status that Vanuatu is at, a status that our leaders contributed to create.

“No one is above the law,” he said, “as the Head of the Nation, I want to inform all the people of Vanuatu that I feel deeply sorry for what that has happened in our nation since Friday (9th) until today”.

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President Lonsdale

“I appeal to every respected leader, to advice the people under your responsibility to be calm, and to allow the court to complete its process,” the President appealed. President Lonsdale specifically pointed out that the power to pardon is the prerogative power of the President and no one else, therefore any Acting President must consult with the President if they want to exercise that power.

“Today, fellow citizens, as I am addressing
you, the backyard of the kitchen needs to be cleaned” the President said. “I am considering my options on how I will clean up the dirt after I receive my legal advice’s.”

In the statement the President said that “following the Pardoning Instrument that the Acting President signed I am considering the options that I can take, once I am satisfied. When I make my decision, I will instruct the State Law Office to prepare my choice.”

After the statement by the President he was asked; what would he had done if he was in the country, “do you think you would make the same decision (as the decision by the Acting President)?”, the President’s responded saying that such a decision needed a longer period to make, “there is not enough time for someone to make this kind of decision within this very limited short time, this is a very sensitive issue, it needs careful consideration” he explained. At the end his response was a “No”, he could not have made such a sensitive decision within a very short time frame.

“As the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, I simply ask for one simple request,” he said, “that we must look after our people in the right manner so that our children of tomorrow will live and walk in a good environment”.

To view President Lonsdale’s Statement to the Nation click here.

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2 thoughts on “President Considering Options To Clean Up The ‘Dirt’

  1. As a CONSTITUTIONALIST (Australia) I hold the view that the Vanuatu constitution in s36 provides for the President to be held accountable for serious misconduct. Therefore, s36 effectively denies the President (and so anyone acting for the President) to grand himself a pardon. The book “Law Made Simple” by Colin F. Padfield, LL.B.,D.P.A.(Lond.) on page 55 sets out the rule of bias (As much applicable to a President or a person acting as a President as for a judge) and in Uniform Tax case, 1942 (65CLR 373 at 408) 23-7-1942 it is made clear an unconstitutional law is that it never existed. Likewise, an unconstitutional pardon never existed. Had the Speaker acting as President pardoned the other 13 Members of Parliament but not himself then so to say he may have gotten away with it but by purportedly pardoning himself he violated the constitution. One cannot pardon one self! As such the president may issue a clarification that the purported pardons were in violation of the constitution and as such null and void. the legal principle embedded in the constitution “independent and impartial court ” also should be held applicable to a President or a person acting as President. Hence the speaker acting as President cannot be deemed impartial when granting himself a pardon.
    If anything I can but only compliment the President for seeking to restore peoples trust in the Office of the President and seek to remove this purported granting of pardons as a violation of the legal principles embedded in the constitution.

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  2. Having now read the “pardon” of the 14 persons listed, it is my view that the President can revoke this pardon as if fails to comply with section 38 of the constitution which only allows a pardon for “a person” and as such a pardon of more than person at the time would be unconstitutional. Any pardon to two or more people would require a separate pardon for each person.

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