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New Vanuatu political party launched on Epi
3:51 pm GMT+12, 09/05/2011, Vanuatu
A Vanuatu naturalised citizen and investor, Robert Bohn, has launched a new political party on Epi Island to contest next year’s general elections.

The name of his party is Vanuatu Progressive Development Party.

Bohn, who is originally from the US, is the President of the party and has been chosen by the people of Epi as their election candidate.

Bohn is reported by the Daily Post as saying the party’s aim is to meet the development needs of the people in the rural sector without the help of the national government.

The party’s secretary general, Peter Mawa, said Vanuatu is going through a period of transition after 30 years of independence.

Epi Island stood out four years ago as the country’s first island to elect two women, both from the Vanuaaku Pati, to represent it in the national parliament.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu's police commissioner has filed legal proceedings against a judicial review of a coroner's report published on the death of a prison inmate in custody.

In May last year, Vanuatu's coroner found that the inmate, a man called John Bule, had died after being beaten during an interrogation by the Vanuatu Mobile Force at the Cooks Barracks in 2009.

Radio Australia now has obtained a document by lawyers for Police Commissioner Joshua Bong, which asks the Justice Minister to immediately terminate a commission of inquiry that had been set up to investigate the coroner's report.

The Commission, established in April, is headed by Harold Thompson, a former Commander of the VMF and former Deputy Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force.

The documents demanding the commission's termination are dated 26 April 2011, and argue that under Vanuatu law, the lodging of legal proceedings against a judicial review requires the immediate suspension of the inquiry.

Vanuatu's former Justice Minister, Ralph Regenvanu has told Radio Australia he is disappointed by the legal action, and has suggested it is an obstruction of justice.

"There is no other conclusion to draw apart from the fact that he's trying to cover up something," Mr Regenvanu said.

The Commission of Inquiry was set up to determine the extent to which designated authorities complied with the coroner's recommendations, which included a call for those responsible for Mr Bule's death to be identified and brought to justice.

The Commission had six weeks from April 20 to compile its findings .


SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

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