A steady government with little to no development is the description that the Leader of Opposition, Ishmael Kalsakau, provided for the incumbent administration of Vanuatu.
According to Mr. Kalsakau, former administrations had more development within the country than that of the current – “This is the insignia of this government, given two straight years, what has it got to show? The only thing that it has got to show for it is that it is committing people to more expense.”
However, as much as opposition wishes to make certain changes, the odds remain stacked firmly against them as the majority remains with government.
Although, the Leader of Opposition remains optimistic that in time they (Opposition) will have an influx in members once the Members of Parliament begin to scrutinize for themselves the decisions of the government.
“We have a lot of new members of parliament trying to become responsible members of parliament.
“First thing they have done as they come into parliament is to cling onto government; that seems to be the right thing to do.
“As years progress, Members of Parliament have start to develop a political backbone, which enables them to stand aside and scrutinizing whatever comes before them and then they can decide,” he said.
He added that the persistency of Opposition in scrutinizing certain government decisions will eventually lay the groundwork for more independent, free-thinking MP’s – “more MP’s become aware of their standing and their right to contest issues in the name of the people, the more they start understanding what conscious voting is about, the tide will change quickly.”
As for the Bills that were in debate, Mr. Kalsakau noted the complexity of the context and further stated that they were passed prematurely.
“As a former Attorney General I had to take time to sit down and look at lot of this legislation, but you ask the majority of members of parliament whether they understood those bills, I tell you about 40-45 of them will tell you straight away that they no understanding of the bills.”
Opposition believes that the Bill that grants Police New Powers contradicts article 5 (J) of the constitution which stipulates: “Protection for the privacy of the home and other property and from unjust deprivation of property”.
As such, Mr. Kalsakau is confident that the President of Vanuatu, Obed Moses Tallis, will submit the Bill in question to the Supreme Court for annulment.