The President Has Revoked The Pardon For Pipite And 13 MP’s Convicted Of Bribery

VIDEO: President Lonsdale Revokes Pardon Instrument

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF VANUATU has revoked the Pardon Instrument that was signed by Pipite on the 10th of October himself and the thirteen convicted Members of Parliament who were charged guilty of bribery under the Penal Code. ‘

The President said that his decision is based on article sixty six (66) of the national constitution which states that

any person defined as a leader in Article 67 has a duty to conduct himself in such a way, both in his public and private life, so as not to;

a. Place himself in a position in which he has or could have a conflict of interests or in which the fair exercise of his public or official duties might be compromised;

b. Demean his office or position; (c) allow his integrity to be called into question.

c. Endanger or diminish respect for and confidence in the integrity of the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

“On this values,”” the President declared, “I have come out to let us all know that the option that I decided on, is to revoke the (Pardon) instrument that the Acting President made and gazetted on 11th October, I make this decisions following this reasons:

  1. Marcelino Pipite at that time when was as the Acting President, he was one of those that was convicted on 9th October 2015, and he exercised the power of my office to pardon himself and the other 13 MP’s that were convicted. Chapter 10 of the Constitution shows clearly, in my opinion, that the Acting President infringed every sub-clause of Article 66 (1).
  1. The Acting President at that time used the power of the Head of State to prevent the course of justice to complete its process, and he decided to issue the “Pardon Instrument”, he never consulted me about it, and he took the advice that came from government legal officers.
  1. The Acting President, through the advice of his legal advisers, pardoned himself along with the 13 MP’s at a time when they were already convicted, they were still on bail, and their Sentence had not yet been announced. Also, following the letter that I had received, the advice for the Pardon Instrument came out from the Minister of Justice which as a result made the Acting President react in a way that has put into question the exercise of the power under Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu.

Therefore “following this advice’s, concerning the signature of the Acting President on the Pardoning Order of 10th October 2015,” stated the President, “following advice’s, deep thinking and careful consideration on the situation in my country, I take this time this morning, 16th October 2015, to announce that yesterday 15th October 2015 I revoked the Pardoning Instrument that the Acting President signed on 10th October 2015. I want to inform all the citizens of Vanuatu that, I signed the Revocation of the Pardoning Instrument that the Acting President signed with the hope of bringing back respect and confidence to the exercises of the power under Article 38,” the President declared.

“In the name of Peace and Unity of Vanuatu, I appeal to us all to remain quiet, calm and allow justice to take its course on 22nd October 2015,” the President appeals to the citizens of Vanuatu.

To view or download your copy of the Presidents Statement On Pardon Instrument Revocation click here.

Presidential Revocation

President Considering Options To Clean Up The ‘Dirt’

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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