Vanuatu: No confidence, but in whom?

Bands marched around Independence Park in Port Vila, watched by the assembled groups of politicians and VIPs and families dressed in national colours. Children waved the Vanuatu flag. It was much like any other year. But behind the scenes, as the French President flew out of the country after warning against the “new imperialism” in the Pacific, the political machinations of a no confidence vote in the government led by Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau gained momentum.

Oxfam Vanuatu not interfering in politics - country director

The 'vot woman' campaign is seeking for up to 50 percent of seats in Parliament to be reserved for women.

Elizabeth Faerua said Oxfam had helped facilitate the campaign as it is mandated to empower women's involvement in democracy.

The NGO was criticised last week by the Internal Affairs Minister, Andrew Napuat, who said he would not tolerate foreign organisations interfering in local politics.

However, Ms Faerua said the initiative was a local one driven by Vanuatu civil society.

Why these Indian state elections matter to the whole world

As vote counts trickled in from five state elections on Saturday, one result loomed large: that of central India's Uttar Pradesh, home to more than 200 million people. The staggered five-week vote in that state alone marks the biggest election in the world in 2017.

Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or the BJP, looks poised to take about 75% of the 403 seats on offer in Uttar Pradesh.

South Korea impeachment: Critics urge Park Geun-hye arrest

Ms Park was forced from office on Friday, after judges unanimously upheld parliament's decision to impeach her over her role in a corruption scandal involving close friend, Choi Soon-sil.

Despite the ruling, she remains inside the presidential compound.

Thousands turned out for rallies in Seoul on Saturday, a day after three people involved in protests died there.

Many were calling for Ms Park's arrest, although a smaller number of her supporters also gathered in nearby streets.

Melanesian women encouraged to run for office

Ms Hansen is running workshops in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and says women who overcome barriers to political participation inspire the next generation.

"Any women who is looking to run and represent her community, I would really encourage her to do so. You never know which younger women and girls are watching you and who you might accidentally end up a role model for."

She said she hoped her workshops would also empower women to overcome gender based violence.


Trump's abortion rule will cause deaths - activists

Mr Trump reinstated the so-called global gag rule on Monday, affecting American non-governmental organisations working abroad, to signal his opposition to abortion, which is difficult to access legally in many developing countries due to restrictive laws, stigma and poverty.

Kenyan campaigner Rosemary Olale, who teaches teenage girls in Nairobi slums about reproductive health, said women would go back to getting unsafe abortions.

"You will increase the deaths."

Vanuatu MPs to get gratuity payments - even jailed ones

Fifty-two members including 14 former MPs who were jailed for corruption in 2015 are eligible.

Under the law, MPs are entitled to $US35, 000 each at the end of a four-year parliamentary term.

The 2012 parliamentary term was dissolved by the President amid a constitutional crisis in 2015.

But the Financial Controller in the Parliamentary Secretariat, Willie Watson, said the figure for the jailed MPs has been adjusted because they did not serve a full term.

The total gratuity payout for the 52 MPs is 290 million vatu, or about $US2.5 million.

Facebook wants you to get even more political

On Tuesday, the company introduced an endorsement feature, which means that users can now go to the Facebook page of any political official or candidate and endorse them.

This posts the endorsement on a user's profile page (as well as on the candidate's page if a user's account is fully public). People can opt to add an explanation about why they're making that endorsement.

Seven times ordinary people shook up political debate

More often at such times, the stream of political advertising and set-piece speeches flows uninterrupted and can leave voters feeling powerless or disconnected.

But every so often, as these cases show, ordinary people spring to wider attention, knocking politicians off balance.

Joe the Plumber

Vanuatu’s political history could be changed forever

But all credit must be accorded to Port Vila MP and Finance Minister Willie Jimmy for entering an early guilty plea yesterday, which no doubt will count for much in his favour in the final analysis. It is a smart decision on his part, although this must have been a shock to the other 16 defendants. Trial is now set for Monday 7 September.