The newly appointed members of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) will convene for the CRC’s first meeting, 9am today in the Speaker of Parliament’s Conference Room.

19 Members of Parliament and eight representatives of other organisations have been appointed as members of the 27-member committee.

The appointments were made after Parliament endorsed a motion to establish the CRC on June 17, 2016.

The 19 MPs representing their political parties are: MP Marcellino Barthelemy, MP Johnny Koanapo, MP Jacob Mata, MP Kalo Seule, MP Hosea Nevu, Minister Ralph Regenvanu, MP Edwin Macreveth, Leader of Opposition MP Ishmael Kalsakau, MP Sato Kilman, MP Don Ken, MP Alickson Vira, MP Joshua Kalsakau, Minister Jotham Napat, MP Jerome Ludvaune, MP Ian Wilson, MP Samson Samsen, MP Christophe Emelee, MP Ephraim Kalsakau and Minister Ham Lini.

The eight other members comprise of Mr. Elison Bovu (Vanuatu Society for Disable People), Mrs. Doresday Kenneth (Department of Women’s Affairs), Mrs. Lorine Bani (Vanuatu Council of Trade Union), Mr. Joe Kalo (Vanuatu National Youth Council) , Pastor Allan Navuki ( Vanuatu National Christian Council of Churches), Miss Astride Boulekone (Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Mr. Charlie Harrison (Vanuatu Assosciation of Non Government Organisations) and Chief Seni Mao Tirsupe (Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs).

The Office of the Clerk of Parliament sent a notice to the members on July 14, 2016, advising them to collect their documents ahead of the meeting today.

The CRC has a clear mandate to review the Bill for the Constitution (Seventh)(Amendment) Act No. of 2016, consult and provide the views of the organisations they represent on the Bill for the Constitution (Seventh)(Amendment.

The terms of reference require the CRC to consult and provide the views of the organisations they represent on any other constitutional amendments or legislation that is required to: enable the regulation of political parties; enable the regulation of elected candidates; safeguard political stability and integrity of leaders in Vanuatu; provide for the regulation of the involvement of naturalised citizens in Vanuatu politics; provide for the procedure of appointment of the Speaker of Parliament.

The CRC is also mandated to provide for the independence of the office of the Auditor General; extend the life of Parliament; regulate the powers of the Parliament to dissolve Parliament; regulate the powers of the Prime Minister and a Minister after the dissolution of Parliament and before a general election; regulate the occurrence of motions of no-confidence against the Prime Minister; and expand the definition of a leader to include leaders in the private sector working with the Government.

Under the motion endorsed in parliament, the CRC is required to submit its reports together with its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of Parliament no later than August 31, 2016.

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