TIV Ready To Conduct RTI Awareness Around Tanna Island

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU will be conducting several public awareness programs on the Right To Information (RTI) on the island of Tanna from 21st to the 28th of February, also participating is the Right To Information Unit who will have an officer join the TIV Team on Tanna Island.

In preparation for this tour a site visit was conducted by two TIV officers in early February to identify potentials communities and venues that could host the public awareness program. The two officers also visited the TAFEA Provincial Headquarters on Tanna to assist in identifying the communities.

The TIV Civic Education Coordinator, Mr. Douglas Tamara, said that according to the site visit TIV will be conducting awareness on several different schools, villages and provincial Institutions on the island of Tanna.

Volcano

“On the 21st of February we will be visiting Bethel village, then on the 22nd we will be going to the Lenakel Presbyterian College, the Lenakel main Market and also Tafea College as well,” Mr. Tamara said.

Mr. Tamara continued to say that “on the 23rd there will be an RTI forum held at the Provincial Chamber from 9 o’clock in the morning till lunch time where there will be light refreshments available for everyone. And then in the afternoon the team will be visiting Isangel College”.

Mr. Tamara also confirmed that on the 24th – 27th February the team will be visiting the outer communities on the south, south east, north, north east and the central part of Tanna.

The Secretary General for Tafea Province, Mr. Reynold Surmat, including the heads of the colleges to be visited acknowledged Transparency International Vanuatu for the task they will be carrying out in Tanna to widen the knowledge of people about the right to information.

Tafea SG Mr. Reynolds acknowledged the TIV members for visiting them and talking to

Mr. Reynold Surmat SG for TAFEA Province,

TAFEA SG, Mr. Reynolds Surmat.

them about the importance of RTI awareness and RTI forum which will help people understand and contribute ideas to the drafting of the RTI bill.

The right to information means that any person or organization has a legally recognized right to request and obtain information, subject to limited exceptions, from public and in some instances private bodies performing public functions.

An RTI policy was launched in 2013 and it commits the government to release information Banner 1to the public. Eventually, an RTI bill is currently being draft and the next step is for that bill to get approval into parliament and to be voted in to become a law of Vanuatu.

The right to information seeks to promote openness, transparency and accountability in
the functioning of every public authority. It supports and protects human rights and makes citizens a part of decision making. And most importantly it is a tool to reduce corruption in Vanuatu.

Individuals have the right to access and correct all personal information held by public and private bodies about themselves.

The right to information is important as it is: the foundation for the development of a nation; a symbol for open society; the key means to achieve good governance;  promotes openness, transparency and accountability in the functions of every public authority; reduces corruption; support and protect human rights; make citizens part of decision making; and strengthen the foundation of democracy.

WATCH: Right To Information Awareness on the island of Santo.

 

 

Advertisements

1000 Constitution Books For Tanna

THIS TIME NEXT WEEK Transparency International Vanuatu will have already distributed 1000 constitution books in the Bislama language in several communities and schools around the island of Tanna. The constitution books were translated into Bislama by Transparency International Vanuatu and have been in distribution since 2013.

In November of 2015 when officers from TIV visited Santo they gave away over 500 constitutions books to members of the public in Luganville. They also distributed more books to the community of Port Olry in east Santo and Mavunlep village in south Santo.

The TIV Team that will be leaving for Tanna on Sunday the 21st and will return to Port Vila on the 28th February, and they aim to return with empty boxes. Transparency International Vanuatu believes that the information contained in a document such as the national constitution should be available to every citizen.

TIV believes that a well-informed citizen can be able to participate more effectively in nation building.

For more information regarding constitution books please contact the Transparency International Vanuatu office at; 25715. TIV officers are also available to conduct short awareness programs in any requesting community surrounding the contents of the national constitution and the ideals behind it.

                                                         WATCH: Voter Awareness

New Opposition Leader Reveals New Visions

NEW STATE MINISTERS, a majority Government, a solid Opposition bloc, and a nation in relief from several major events that had left a deep impact. And now, with the current calm we wonder where will the next step take us to?

Immediately after the formation of the new government, political silence seemed to have briefly engulfed the nation while our political leaders familiarized themselves with their new working environments.

Even so, political instability remained a heartbroken threat to a stable future. “But the person that was nominated to be the Prime Minister was candidate that we had shared kava with…and it is because in honour of that kava ceremony the Opposition decided not to nominate a candidate but that the result of the vote will show that both sides of the House support a Prime Minister” assures the new Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ishmael Kalsakau, briefly referencing the kava ceremony where they pledged their like-minded support for Charlot Salwai as the next Prime Minister of Vanuatu.

The new Opposition Leader was speaking at a press conference that was organised by theOL 6 Opposition Group around 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The press conference was held at the Parliament House in front of the media, and a mixed crowd of political bearers and a dozen members of the public.

Speaking from behind a blue covered table the Opposition Leader laid out his Office’s future plans. Behind him his younger brother, who was also elected into Parliament, sat quietly while fellow MP’s Sato Kilman, Hosea Nevu and Christopher Emelee flanked his older brother on both sides. Newly elected MP for Luganville McCarthy Ati was also present for his first official appearance.

OL 2 (2)

In his speech the Opposition Leader reminded the Government “that this country is still recovering from the effects of Tropical cyclone PAM as well as there being little sign the effects of Nino are ceasing as the greater part of Vanuatu is facing shortage of water and food.”

“The Opposition notes it is now midweek and yet the Government has yet to relay to the public a mission statement of its governance for the next 4 years” the Opposition Leader said.

The Opposition voiced further concerns of maladministration within the Port Vila Municipal Council and called for a commission of inquiry to investigate “allegations regarding the conduct of the Lord Mayor concerning the Council’s purse.”

In general, what stood out from the Opposition’s mission statement is the vision to expand the Opposition Office equivalent to a fully operational department or Ministry. That fully staffed office should be able to cater for all members of the Opposition and hopefully minimize the risks of members switching sides, a trend of which is common in Vanuatu politics and is an emotional headache for its citizens.

Ol 3

Furthermore, the Opposition plans to introduce new roles within its grouping to equip the Opposition so that it can be more effective in its service to the people. A Shadow Cabinet will be formed by the Opposition consisting of shadow portfolio spokespersons who will voice matters directly to their counterparts in the government. For example, the Opposition Leader will appoint a Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs whose role will be to comment and raise issues on matters surrounding the work of the Government’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Once finalized this will be a significant leap forward not only for the Office of the Opposition but for good governance and a hopeful stability for Vanuatu.

OL 4

Transparency International Vanuatu once asked a veteran politician why MP’s continuously switch from one grouping to the other, is it because of our political system?

His response was simple and clear, “our system is fine, it is the people who run it that are not fully utilizing it. We have not yet fully utilized a hundred percent of this system because we have continued to spent most our time running for political power rather than spend that time to focus, develop, and to effectively contribute to the development of the political system that we are using.”

Having a Shadow Cabinet in place is most definitely a percent towards that hundred percent.

Historically, the first ever Shadow Cabinet was established by the Opposition Leader of the United Kingdom in 1951 to oppose the policies of the Winston Churchill government. Other nations followed suit to establish their own Shadow Cabinets including Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific.

The Shadow Cabinet can be seen to have three main roles, the first one is to organise the parliamentary tactics of the Opposition. The second is to assist the Opposition’s position to the alternative government, and the third role is to provide experience and training for potential future ministers.

The Press Conference organised by the Opposition came to a close at around 4 o’clock.

Click here to download the full statement by the Opposition.

 

Parliament Meets To Elect New Government

AFTER A RATHER LONG period of political uncertainties the parliament of Vanuatu will finally elect a new government today.

Port Vila this morning experienced a string of traffic jams up to the Parliament compound. Dozens of people looked on from outside the parliament as the new elected representatives walked in this morning.

2

Elected representatives ready to enter the Parliament chamber.

Inside the parliament media personals are busy sorting out broadcasts transmissions to inform the people of Vanuatu by radio, television, and by live-streaming through the parliament website.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE-STREAM.

Security is also tight. Dozens of security officers are lined up outside the parliament gates while others roam around the parliament compound.

4

Former MP Maxime Carlot (right) and new MP Albert William (left) of the GJP Party.

Over the last couple of days the will for stability has been a driving force behind many conversations within the political arena, and the hope for stability continues to remain on  every citizens minds. Evidently, by the end of the today Vanuatu will already have a new government in place.

By 10:30am the swearing in of all the Members of Parliament had finished. MP Joe Natuman (who is the Senior Member) was then chosen to act as the Speaker of Parliament for the election of the new Speaker of Parliament who will then proceed with the election of the Prime Minister.

At midday MP for Malekula Esmon Saimon was elected as the new Speaker of Parliament for Vanuatu.

He led with 33 votes while the other nominated MP for the position of the Speaker, Christopher Emelee, took 19 votes.

Next was the election of the First Deputy Speaker that went unopposed, it shows that the Unity Front for Change Bloc currently holds the majority in Parliament. MP for Santo Mr. Edwin Amblus, who is a former Magistrate, is now the new First Speaker of Parliament.

The election for the Second Deputy Speaker also went unopposed, the nomination was made by MP Jotham Napat and seconded by MP Edwim Amblus. The position of the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament goes to MP Havo Moli from Malo/Aore Constituency.

The Third Deputy Speaker is MP Alickson Vira from Ambae, and the Fourth Deputy Speaker is Marcelino Barthelemy from Malekula.

MP for Pentecost Charlot Salwai was nominated for the position of the Prime Minister unopposed.

5

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE-STREAM.

Pic 1

Acting Clerk of Parliament summons the new elected representatives in the Chamber.

Brief Observation Of The Snap Election

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU published this morning a brief observation report on the Vanuatu 2016 Snap Election.

WHAT IS INSIDE THE REPORT?

There are four parts in this brief observation report:

  1. Allegations of corruption.
  2. Comparison of Candidate numbers by Provinces.
  3. Discrepancies in valid voter numbers.
  4. Recommendations.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE REPORT.