Good Morning long yufala every wan, mo welkam long yumi everiwan we i save kam tudei.

Many thanks to every one for responding to my invitation, to attend this seminar to discuss the important issue for political Reform before us.

I would like to start by thanking, the Council of Minister and the MPS, who have supported me and my government to date, particularly, those who have helped forge the 100 day plan from the very beginning of the term of this government. We are on the verge of implementing, most of what we have planned to do during the term of this Government.

Today we are here to discuss and implement one of our strategies in the   day plan to embrace Political Reform for Stability and to review the Machinery of Government.

I am glad that you have all come today to contribute to the discussion on political Reform, which will, address Political Stability, stable government, good governance and growth, but more importantly to provide better services to our people. Our Discussion today will lead to a government paper that, will be presented to the parliament, in November of this year, which will lead to development of a political parties integrity bill a part of our constitutional reform.

Reform is an ongoing process of the government, however, during the reform era in 1998, Political reform have been left out of the Machinery of government, and successive governments in the past have shy away from taking a bold step to address Political Reform, due to the sensitivity of  the issue itself. Today I am glad that, I have to support of the Council of ministers and MPs to address and implement the changes we have agreed to undertake, in addressing political Parties Stability within our own political parties and this government.

Before we start our discussion today , I would like to call on each of us, to find solution to political stability parties Spare, and think more Nationally, I want all of us to think outside of the box of Politic, and be more nationalistic in our focus.

Secondly I would like to draws us back to the importance of this seminar to find the solution to the political stability in Government, as stability in a government id the key to advance National Development and improve services to our communities. Without a stable environment, we cannot focus on our development issues and there will be no continuation and implementation of our strategies.

The quality of the formal government and what transpire after an election depends on the inner working and decisions of Parties outside of a formal Government. It is therefore important that, we strengthened the role and legal frameworks of political parties, and institutionalized some of the good governance and accountability and good practices in the political Parties systems to ensure that, when leaders emerge out from Political parties they would have been thoroughly groomed by the Political system before  they emerge as national leaders. I am strong believer that Political Parties are part of a formal governance system and  therefore should be treated and support  as other National institutions of the Government. These support should come in the form of technical and financial Support in straitening the operation and inner working of recognized National Political Parties.

Why Regulate, strengthen, and provide Support to national Political parties?

There are many reasons, why we should regulate and strengthened national Political Parties, and I would like to list a number of reasons here;  Fist, if we do not recognised and support national Political Parties into the formal Governance systems, particularly in the area of financial support, and employment matters. These spill over, are then labelled as corruption and or sometimes viewed as unethical.

Secondly the issue, of continuous instability in Government and movements of MPs and crossing of floor in parliament, is a reflection of a lack of discipline, lack of legal framework and regulation in our different Political Parties and supporters.

The rights and freedom under articles 4 and 5 of the Constitution has often been abused to a level where it often creates instability and uncertainty as people end up creating more Political Parties than what is really needed to govern the country. we end up in a situation where it is becoming almost impossible to govern the country because of the fragmented political parties. we must take this country to a point where we allow the current political parties to be properly regulated so we do not  confuse the voters with narrow political agenda.

Furthermore Hon.Learders and colleagues, while the two provisions in article 4 and 5 of the constitution were written in good faith for a good purpose, I believe it is now time to make changes as these two provision are now working against the provision of article 7 of the Constitution, and the very purpose of establishment government and our role as individual citizens of Vanuatu. I call on you leaders and Honourable members  to think seriously, as  individuals citizens of Vanuatu. I call on you leaders  and honourable members to thinks seriously, as you ponder on the issues for discussions today to come up with some solution at the end of today.

Thirdly, why democracy and freedom is good, too much of it can be very damaging, if not so guided by our moral values, culture, customs an control mechanism. Freedom, and democracy is like a life-giving stream, that provide life to all the living creatures on the land, as it flows to the sea, but like the river it has to be guided by the banks and mountains in order to reach the ocean, too much of it could drown a nation and destroys life in its path.

Colleagues, We have to find the ways to harness our freedom and Democratic principals, so that, the system integrated into our systems and culture to serve our need better, but not destroys us.  We have leant many lesson from our African, and south America countries, whose countries, are very rich in resources, but yet are struggling because of either too much or too little democracy in their governance system.

Turning back now to our Agenda today, we are here to discuss the legal and regulatory framework for registering political parties. While this may sound easy, there are a number of sensitive issues which we need to agree on before a final paper provide to council, and on the parliament. The Forum today should help us flash out, our concerns and freely discuss contagious, issues before the taskforce finalizes its report.

Hon. Leaders and colleagues, it outcome of this forum could lead a dramatic change in our political way of thinking and doing business. While there are benefits in registering and regulating political parties it is also incumbent on us to change our own behaviour, attitude and to some instance believe system to embrace these changes.

Last but not least, all honourable members, and leaders, time is running out on us, we must make changes, while political will, prevails. I now call on all of us to make sure that, at the end today we must come up with an agree way forward that will be addressed formally in the fort coming Parliament sessions.

I wish all of us a very good discussion, and enjoy the exchanges for a better Vanuatu tomorrow.

Finally, I would like to thank the Taskforce team, and MoG, for coordinating the seminar, and knowledge the support of New Zealand an UNDP Office in Suva and Vanuatu for funding assistance, both for the last two days and also today. Without their assistance we would not be able to learnt Valuable lesions from other friends from other regions, which should now assist us to frame our own legal and regulatory framework.

 

Thank iu tumas

 

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