2nd Extraordinary and 2nd Ordinary Sessions of Parliament called

Acting Speaker of Parliament Toara Daniel Kalo announcing the calling of the 2nd Extraordinary and the 2nd Ordinary Sessions of Parliament for 2017.

The Second Extraordinary and Second Ordinary sessions of the Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu have been called by the Second Deputy Speaker and Acting Speaker of Parliament, Toara Daniel.

The Second Extraordinary Session of Parliament will start on November 20 and end on December 1, 2017.

And the Second Ordinary Session, which is also the Budget Session, will start on December 11 and end of December 19, 2017.

The two sessions have been called following a request from Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, to the Speaker of Parliament, Esmon Sai, dated October 9, 2017.

“In accordance with Standing Orders 14 (1 and (2), I wish to request the calling of the Second Extraordinary Session to commence on Monday, November 20 and end on Friday, December 1, 2017.

“In accordance with Standing Orders 12, I wish to request the calling of the Second Ordinary Session of Parliament to commence on Monday, 11 December and end on Tuesday 19 December, 2017,” the Prime Minister’s letter states and lists the Bills to be introduced in the Parliament for those sessions.

Acting Speaker Toara Daniel says he wrote back to the Prime Minister the following day and confirmed to him that his request was in order.

The next day, October 11, he issued summons to the Members for Parliament to meet in Parliament’s 2017 Second Extraordinary Session and 2017 Second Ordinary Session.

“In accordance with the provisions of Article 21(2) of the Constitution and Standing Orders 14 of Parliament of 1982, I hereby summon to meet in its 2017 Second Extraordinary Session commencing on Monday 20th of November, 2017 at 8.30 Ante Meridiem in Port Vila.

“In accordance with the provisions of Article 21(1) of the Constitution and Standing Order 12 of the Standing Orders of Parliament of 1982, I hereby summon Parliament to meet in its 2017 Second Ordinary Session commencing on Monday 11 December 2017 at 8.30 ante meridiem in Port Vila.”

The Speaker of Parliament, Esmon Sai is away attending the Prayer Assembly program in Israel and the Acting Speaker says he is acting on the request of the Prime Minister to summon Parliament in accordance with Article 22(3) of the Constitution which states that the functions of the Speaker may be exercised by Deputy Speakers.

He says also that he decided to act now to immediately issue the summons so that Members of Parliament receive their copies the Bills to be introduced in the two sessions in plenty of time. He adds that the Office of the Clerk of Parliament will start sending out the Bills to the Members this week.

There are 27 Bills for debate in the Second Extraordinary Session – 25 of them Amendments and two, which are the Bill for the Ratification of Certain Conventions Act No. of 2017 and the Bill for State Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. of 2017 are the only original Bills.

There are eight Bills listed for the Second Ordinary Session of Parliament including the Bill for the Appropriation (2018) Act No. of 2017 and the controversial Bill for the Parliament (Members’ Expenses and Allowances) (Amendment) Act No. of 2017, which is seeking to increase the allowances of the Members of Parliament.

Here is the list of the Bills to be introduced in the Second Extraordinary Session of Parliament: 1. Bill for the Financial Institution (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 2. Bill for the Foundations Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 3. Bill for the Charitable Associations (Incorporations) (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 4 Bill for the Vanuatu Interactive Gaming (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 5 Bill for the Mutual Funds (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 6 Bill for the Insurance (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 7 Bill for the Gaming (Control)(Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 8 Bill for the Lotteries (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 9 Bill for the E-Business (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 10. Bill for the Credit Unions (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 11 Bill for the Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 12 Bill for the Companies (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 13 Bill for the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 14 Bill for the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 15 Bill for the Public Finance and Economic Management (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 16 Bill for the Ratification of Certain Conventions Act No. of 2017; 17 Bill for the Statement Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. of 2017; 18 Bill for the Environmental Management and Protection (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 19 Bill for the National Youth Council (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 20 Bill for the Geothermal Energy (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 21 Bill for the Privately Finance Airports Infrastructure Projects (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 22 Bill for the Forestry (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 23 Bill for the Copyright and Related Rights (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 24 Bill for the Utilities Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 25 Bill for the Electricity Supply (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 26 Bill for the Public Health (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; and 27 Bill for the Maritime (Amendment) Act No. of 2017.

The Bills listed for introduction in the Second Ordinary Session of 2017 are: 1 Bill for the Tax Administration Act No. of 2017; 2 Bill for the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act No. of 2017; 3 Bill for the Intellectual Property Office Act No. of 2017; 4 Bill for the Drainage Act No. of 2017; 5 Bill for the Disaster Risk Management Act No. of 2017; 6 Bill for the Petroleum and Liquefied Gas (Price Control) Act No. of 2017; 7 Bill for the Appropriation (2018) Act No. of 2017; and 8 Bill for the Parliament (Members’ Expenses and Allowances)(Amendment) Act No. of 2017.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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