COUNCILLORS DEMAND MAYOR’S RESIGNATION

Mayor Albert Daniel. File Photo

There is a crisis in the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC), the majority of its members are calling on the Lord Mayor to resign.

A letter addressed to Mayor Albert Daniel, dated June 4, 2019, contained the signatures of 11 councillors who asked the Mayor to “show real leadership and respect the institution” and step down voluntarily.

The councillors who are signatories in the letter are: Eric Puyo Festa - Deputy Mayor and Green councilor from the Southern Ward, Jenny Regenvanu (GJP) also from Southern Ward, Joel Langlois (Ind.) from Northern Ward, Marie-Louise Milne (GC) from Freshwater/Tassiriki Ward, Moses Steven (GJP) also from Freshwater/Tassiriki Ward, Leipanga Manses (LPV) from Central Ward, Rose Marie Peter (GC) from Northern Ward, Sebeorah Tabau (LPV) from Anabrou/Melcoffee Ward, Ulrich Sumptoh (RMC) also from Anabrou/Melcoffee Ward, Willie Saatearoto (GC) from Freshwater/Tassiriki Ward and Vai Maki (RMC) from Central Ward.

They outlined the reasons behind their call for the Lord Mayor to resign in their letter, blaming him for lack of communication with his partners and for absences from official activities. 

“We note that instead of appointing your Deputy Lord Mayor Festa (as Acting Lord Mayor), you appoint Peter Yamak. The residents of Port Vila and Efate spotted you driving in a state of drunkenness many times,” their letter stated.

Another accusation listed as one of the reasons behind their call for resignation was his involvement in a traffic accident at Banana Bay, stating he fled the scene instead of being responsible. They added they cannot tolerate the alleged assault caused to his spouse recently, which resulted in a restraining order.

The councillors reminded the Lord Mayor that when they agreed to support him to become their leader and the Lord Mayor after municipal elections last year, their political leaders signed a MOU that specified the sharing of positions and the policies to be implemented under his leadership.

“Unfortunately, you decided to simply ignore the MOU. We hope after reviewing reasons and factors above, you will show real leadership and respect this institution and resign from your position without creating further problems to our beautiful capital city,” they stated.

A reliable source within the group told Daily Post that they already gave the letter to the Lord Mayor and they are waiting for his response.

Mayor Daniel is the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) elected councilor from Central Ward. He was elected to the position of Lord Mayor in the beginning of 2018 following the last municipal elections in the capital.

The PVMC has 17 members altogether, including four reserved seats for women representing the four municipal electoral wards.

Daily Post has contacted Mayor Daniel, who confirmed he will comment on this matter today.

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