The recent decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the decision of the President is a very narrow interpretation of Article 38 of the Constitution.
The President’s decision is unfair, morally wrong, and is not in the best interest of the people of Vanuatu. Despite the fact that the law and the court decision may be legally right, it is still morally wrong. This is the second time he has used his power under Article 38 to favour a small segment of the population of Vanuatu.
What is special about these politicians? Are they above the law? Do they have more rights and privileges over the rest of us?
The argument in Court seems to center around the absolute power of the President and process, rather than on the substantiate issue of impartiality, possible risk, and future consequences that, could negatively impact the country. What if the families of those other 700 detainees serving their full sentences around the country, stage another insurrection in jails, marching up to the President’s Office and demanding that they also be pardoned? Olsem wanem? Do we not consider these risks?
It is also undermining the work of the Police, Prosecution, Courts and court decisions, and the costs to the country, in bring criminals to justice. Ol had wok I ko blong nating nomo!
They may go and commit more crime, knowing that, if they are caught, they will be pardoned, again and again. What a dangerous precedence!
Finally, sadly, the President’s Office and the Courts are our last stance. Once these two-institutions collapse under the weight of political whips, Vanuatu could be spiraling towards a state of anarchy.
Mark Peter Bebe