A total of 460 members of four tribes in Kwaramande Village on Motalava Island have responded to the Vanua’aku Pati (VP) ‘Come Back Call’ after VP Executive Heads, including VP Secretary General and current Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Johnny Koanapo visited the islands to present the VP Flag to the party executive there.
Reflecting on the visit which took place in the last quarter of 2020, National Coordinator of VP Merilyn Arnhambat says it was and is definitely significant since the party had left TORBA Province for almost 30 years.
Minister Koanapo presented a VP Flag to rekindle the once political flame that used to burn bright and defiant in those islands.
The Banks Group of Islands has a historical link with the history of the party because it was up there where the presentation of the Vanuatu Flag was made that the party Executive met and agreed on the date of the country’s Independence on July 30 of 1980.
The National Coordinator returned to the Banks for the by-election of the Ureparapara Constituency last December following the death of its Councilor. “This was the first time in many years for the Vanua’aku Pati Flag to fly again at Ureparapara during a ceremony given at short notice”, says the National Coordinator.
“Even so the local people welcomed our delegation and the return of the party to the Banks. We stressed the importance of the ‘VP Come Back Policy’.
“While we cannot implement the party’s policies in the current Coalition Government set up, but at least our message was clear that members of the party nationwide have to reunite in order to re-introduce the spirit of independence especially the current focus of Economic Self Reliance”.
Despite the literal interests of the people for VP to return to the Banks, Arnhambat admits that the by-election at the end of last year attracted only nine votes.
“We accepted the result because VP was absent from the Banks for approximately 30 years which explained why when elderly people heard our message and saw the party flag go up again, they shed tears”, she recalls.
“So I take this opportunity to thank the nine voters who believed in VP and voted for the party”.
The Coordinator says a VP Flag was presented to the organizing committee of the event in preparation for the TORBA Provincial Elections this coming November.
VP candidates will contest the Election in Torres, Ureparapara, Motalava, Mota and Gaua. “The timing is right for VP to return to fill the void it had left for nearly 30 years. Yumi 40 signals our call to wipe out the suffering of people in this year’s provincial election”, she says.
“Our Come Back Policy is our national call to reach out to the people at their doorsteps and not just sit here in Port Vila and make the call. No, we have to physically reach out to the people”.