Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Sato Kilman, says he has seen a copy of the Budget but it is not reflective of the Nation’s priorities and the Government’s policies and wants the Budget amended to cater for the needs of the country.
Yesterday afternoon Prime Minister Kilman met for the second time with the Acting Leader of the Opposition, Ham Lini at the Prime Minister’s office to discuss a proposal to move Vanuatu out of the current political impasse. However the PM has also advised that any proposals would have to be put before the governing coalition partners. The PM confirmed he has asked the President to dissolve Parliament but he said the members of his Government that are in “detention” have to first appeal the case in the Court of Appeal.
The PM said Vanuatu experienced massive destruction in infrastructures around Vanuatu as a result of Cyclone Pam and now is experiencing drought because of EL Nino and he believed that the Vanuatu budget must accommodate the hardships faced by the people of Vanuatu.
Mr Kilman said the Opposition letter to the First Deputy Speaker Samson Samsen to meet with the Prime Minister to call an urgent Parliament sitting to debate the 2016 Budget is a little over the top.
He explained that when Prime Minister Joe Natuman was in power he was supposed to call Parliament according to the Constitution in March last year, but it was not until June when Parliament actually met.
The Constitution says Parliament shall meet twice a year in Ordinary Sessions and the Constitution too also says that Parliament shall make its own roles of procedures.
According to the Standing Orders of Parliament it would take at least over a month before the MPs receive their summons for Parliament to meet.
Prime Minister said during his 20 years in Parliament this is the first time there is an argument that Parliament must meet in August when always the budget session was held in November.
Meanwhile, the PM appealed to members of the Police Force and Civil Servants not to involve in politics because he has advised the Police Service Commission and the Public Service Commission to discipline any officers that involve in politics.
The PM also said he has a copy of the letter confirming the speculation of former Prime Minister Joe Natuman to allegedly divert the course of justice.
The PM said the Opposition is always talking about leadership but in the Opposition, MP Ham Lini has been acting for “long while” why can’t he be made the Leader of the Opposition.
The Prime Minister’s Office says the Vanuatu Budget of over Vt17 billion had been appropriated by the Parliament to last until 31 December 2015.
If there is no budget for 2016 that has passed through Parliament this year the Public Finance and Economic Management Act does make provision for supplementary budgeting for the first three months of the New Year.
This expenditure allocation would then be taken into account in the 2016 Budget Appropriation Bill which must be passed before Parliament before March 31st 2016.