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Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs Unaware of Chiefs’ Push for Presidential Government System

By Ezra Toara Jul 12, 2023

by admin

President of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Chief Willy Grey Plasua. Photo: Doddy Morris | File By Ezra Toara

The Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs was not aware chief representatives from different islands were in Port Vila to push for a change in the current Westminster-style parliamentary political system to a Presidential system.

A gathering of individuals dressed in traditional attire yesterday morning led some to believe that custom dancers were rehearsing for the upcoming Melanesian Arts Festival next week. However, it turned out to be a parade of approximately 100 chiefs, commencing from the Tropical Market to Epauto Multipurpose Hall, with the intention of signing a petition requesting a referendum to change the current government system.

A banner displayed during the parade carried the message: “We strongly believe in the Presidential form of Government, which is rooted in the traditional system of the tribes and the nasaras in the Republic of Vanuatu.”

When contacted, President of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Chief Willy Grey Plasua, told the Vanuatu Daily Post that while changing the government system to a Presidential one is not a bad idea, it should not be associated with a small group of people. He emphasised that if the Government itself supports the idea and brings it to parliament for discussion, it would be better received.

Chief Plasua admitted he was unaware of the event, but upon arriving at his office yesterday morning, he discovered an invitation letter to attend. However, as Malvatumauri is part of the government, he could not participate in the occasion. He stated that changing the governing system of the entire nation requires the input and opinions of everyone.

“The Malvatumauri has nothing to do with the chiefs and representatives from different islands of Vanuatu traveling to Port Vila to sign this petition, including their travel expenses, accommodation, and the petition itself,” clarified the head of Malvatumauri.

The debate on the Presidential system has been absent from public scrutiny for several years. However, Mr. Louis Kalnpel, a former Clerk of Parliament, established the Vanuatu Presidential Party (VPP) over 11 years ago, with the support of former Presidents Ati George Sokomanu and John Bani.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post

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