Shitfting Numbers in Vanuatu Parliament

The numbers in Parliament have shifted after Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV) announced that all their members of Parliament will be sitting on the Opposition side when Parliament meets on November 23.

This announcement by LPV to move was made by President, Jotham Napat, who said this decision was reached after lengthy consultations with his party colleagues and constituents.

Napat said all eight members of LPV will sit with the opposition when parliament resumes, but he stopped short of naming who the eighth MP was.

The seven MPs that LPV has are President Jotham Napat, Matai Seremiah, Francois Chani, Jerry Kanas, Ian Wilson, Gracia Shadrack and Jimmy Nipo who will be sworn in when Parliament meets.

It is understood that one of the Deputy Speakers of Parliament is an affiliate of LPV, however it is not clear which side he will be with in the coming session of Parliament.

LPV is moving with one of the highest numbers that a political party has on the government side and when this happens, it triggers speculations of a motion, which at this stage there is none.

According to numbers that Daily Post collected yesterday from various sources, the Government still commands the majority at around 33 MPs.

The word ‘around’ is used because there are a few ‘roving MPs’ whose allegiance can swing at any time when they see the numbers shifting or if they are not happy that their demands are not met.

However, it is safe to say that the Salwai-led coalition government still commands the majority support of over 30 MPs.

These MPs on government side are from Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP- 8 MPs although two have broken the ranks at recent times), Reunification Movement for Change (RMC- 7 MPs), Vanua’aku Party (VP- 8 MPs and this includes affiliates who at times may change sides in parliament), National United Party (NUP- 3 MPs), Nagriamel (NAG- 2 MPs), Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP- 2 MPs), People’s Service Party (PSP- 2 MPs), and Vanuatu Green Confederation (VGC- 1 MP who is affiliated with RMC).

Opposition numbers have increased with LPV’s move to 16 MPs and these are Union of Moderate Parties (UMP- 5 MPs), Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV- 7 MPs), People’s Progressive Party (PPP- 2 MPs), U-Bloc (1 MP), and Labour Party (LP- 1 MP).

It remains to be seen which side three other MPs will be joining in parliament.

Meanwhile, Napat said he and his colleagues met with the Prime Minister last weekend to learn why he and former Minister Matai Seremaiah were terminated from their positions.

“We met with the prime minister for over an hour and he expressed his regret over our terminations,” Napat said.

“The PM told us it was not his choice or wish to terminate us yet some members of his government felt it was in their interests to do so in order to try to hold their seats in 2020,” Napat said of the political motivation behind their removal.

Peter O’Neill: Enjoy PNG

By HELEN TARAWA

Peter O'Neill: Enjoy PNG
Peter O’Neill: Enjoy PNG

PAPUA New Guinea is the “last paradise on Earth”, and “one of the best countries in the world”, according to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Responding to recent overseas media reports which rated PNG as one of the poorest Apec economies, he said everyone was “entitled to their views, they can say whatever they want”.

“We are rich in culture, rich in history, thousands of years of history, diverse in population and diverse in ethnic grouping, one of the best countries in the world and the last paradise on Earth,” he said

“If they don’t want to come (to PNG), well it’s their bad luck. If they want to come and visit us, we welcome them with open hearts.”

The business end of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Week begins tomorrow with the Chief Executive Officers’ Summit held on board the cruise liner Pacific Explorer, followed by the Leaders’ Summit on Sunday at Apec Haus.

O’Neill yesterday inspected facilities including the Hilton Hotel, ‘nternational media centre and APEC Haus.
He told overseas journalists to enjoy the country while they can.

“Relax, move freely and enjoy our lovely country and our people,” he said.

O’Neill also urged them to be fair in their reporting on PNG as it hosts its first Apec Leaders’ Summit.
On security arrangements, O’Neill said PNG was trying to ensure visitors were accommodated in a “distinguished manner” and with the respect they deserved.

“We are proud in making sure that our facilities and logistics are all set for that. Everything is all set and security is okay,” he said.

“We are happy to have you here that are the benefit we get.

“We love visitors coming to visit us and certainly we look forward to doing business with our Apec member countries.”

PNG PM optimistic, hopeful

By HELEN TARAWA, The National PNG

PM optimistic, hopeful
PM optimistic, hopeful

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says PNG is ready and looking forward to receiving Apec delegates and leaders from Apec economies over the next few days.

O’Neill told the media during a final walk through of all the facilities yesterday that he was confident that everyone will have a wonderful experience.

“Our people and our country are very excited by the prospect of having all these global leaders, leaders of the economies and businesses here so we are very proud of that,” he said.
“It has been a challenging few years to get is this ready but we are ready to host everyone.”

Responding to reports of world leaders arriving with their owned armoured vehicles and that the purchases of the Maseratis was a waste of money, O’Neill said very senior government ministers and other distinguished leaders would be using the vehicles.

“It is not only the world leaders who are here. There are foreign ministers, trade ministers, and other distinguished leaders who are also going to be here using every available vehicle that we can get,” he said.

“I think we have done well so far and Papua New Guineans should be proud of it.”

While unable to confirm the first Apec leader who will be arriving, O’Neill said he was not privy to the details and it was arranged and organised by the security personnel.

“All the leaders will be in Port Moresby by tomorrow and we will be hosting them at the Hilton Hotel for dinner which will be followed by the leaders’ summit.”

500 US marines, naval officers arrive in NCD

The Ntationl (POM) – FIVE hundred United States marines and naval officers have arrived in Port Moresby aboard USS Green Bay to help provide security during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit.

United States marines and naval officers have arrived in Port Moresby
United States marines and naval officers have arrived in Port Moresby

The Marines are from the 469 Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron based in Okinawa, Japan. USS Green Bay is from the seventh US navy Fleet based in Sasebo, also in Japan.

Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, US Navy Commander Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet based in Okinawa, said they were in PNG to follow the footsteps of the US Undersecretary for Navy, Thomas Modly.

“This is the second US Navy ship to visit Port Moresby within two months. We are here to show that we are keen for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and to support PNG host the Apec , Cooper said.
“Our presence and this ship is an open symbol of our assistance to PNG.”

Meanwhile, US Navy commanding officer and USS Green Bay Captain Tom Shultz said “the crew feels fortunate to have the opportunity to support Apec in PNG and had sailed for 10 days from home port at Sasebo.”

The US Navy has invested deeply in supporting the amphibious mission as can be seen in the innovative design and of this amphibious transport dock ship. This ship is equipped to support a variety of missions from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to full amphibious combat operations”.

USS Green Bay also has military helicopters on board for the US marines to use to deploy in the city during Apec security operations.

O’Neill: Aust, China are our friends

By HELEN TARAWA, the National PNG

O’Neill: Aust, China are our friends
O’Neill: Aust, China are our friends

CHINA and Australia are very good friends who continue to trade with each other and are important to the Asia-Pacific region, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Responding to questions on how Papua New Guinea feels about having both Australia and China together at the Apec Leaders’ Summit, O’Neill said they had a huge role to play in lifting the standard of living in developing countries.

“Like any family, there are always going to be difficulties along the way,” he said.

“China and Australia are very good friends. They continue to trade with each other and are important to the region.

“It’s going to be a fruitful and worthwhile dialogue between all economies including China and Australia. We look forward to working with them.”

On how PNG was dealing with Australia, United States and China, O’Neill said PNG was not interested in geo-politics.

“We are very much interested in doing business with everyone,” he said.

“Those countries PNG have always had a strong bilateral relationship with, all the countries, and we want them to see the best of PNG.

“We want them to see the best of PNG and we want to welcome them in a hospitable manner in which Papua New Guineans are known for. We are in the Pacific. It is more relaxing and I hope that they enjoy their stay.”