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TIV renews call to vote for leaders with integrity

TIV Advocate Tamara

Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) Advocate, Douglas Tamara has reminded that Vanuatu has three main pillars on which it stands; Custom, Christian Faith and Rule of Law.

While each sector is different, each one is linked to one common factor which is respect.

“Respect is losing its impact in our lives, we want to ensure it is revived to cement unity as the foundation on which to stand united at all times,” he said.

“Otherwise, if a person makes a decision outside his Christian faith, he will become accountable to God when Jesus returns.

“Any decision which is made outside custom, a custom chief will intervene to correct the custom law breaker.

“When a person breaks the law, police will intervene and he will be prosecuted. So it is vital that whenever a person makes his or her decision, the three pillars are taken into consideration at all times.”

With one Port Vila City Council (PVCC) by-election coming up this Friday at Freshwater Tassiriki and Anabrou Melcoffe Ward, a TIV Team led by Advocate Tamara, is doing its rounds to remind all voters to spend as long as possible to select the most qualified candidate to vote for, on that day.

Tamara said Chapter 1 Article 1 of the Constitution says the people control the Power on which the Government shall rule. “We often emphasise that when you hold power, it means that we have the power to make the right decision to form a Government or Municipal Council. It means you are mandated to enter the small room to make the right decision to elect the right candidate to form the new Government or PVCC.

“Even if you enter the room with a clear picture in mind as to who to vote for, you can still change your mind and choose another candidate if he or she seems likely to be a better and honest leader than whoever you have in mind.”

Tamara reminded the people about the wordings of the National Anthem, saying the Anthem is worded to enflame patriotism for everybody to rise up as one group of “yumi” to work to develop the islands as a Nation.

“I have travelled most of the islands from the North to the South and the sad truth is that some islands are empty of people,” he said.

“They may say that life is hard on those islands but if you look carefully, there is fish in the sea and crops grow well in the gardens and everything is free where we come from.

Despite the fact that they each differ in the environments in which they live, Tamara stressed the fact that the Anthem says “yumi brata evriwan” or we all are one.

“While we all sing ‘yumi brata evriwan’ on the Nation’s Anniversary, it remains a question whether we live in peace in our homes and respect our families and do not mistreat our children and see eye to eye with our other halves”, says.

With the current freedom of information flow, Tamara said all correct forms of information are available to unite everyone into one happy community. “Plante wok long ol aelan i stap” means that all kinds of jobs are pending, awaiting the availability of knowledge and wisdom to effect relevant changes in society.

Chapter 2 of the Constitution refers to “right” to express oneself. Tamara measured a period between six o’clock in the morning and four o’clock the afternoon of the next day. “How many times have you greeted different people and apologised to someone for hurting them, or witness to someone about Christian truth?” he asked.

He answered himself by saying most likely, people have gossiped about other people and said negative things more than anything else during the period. “In other words, we use our right to information to say negative things instead of positive things. If we continue without changing then we won’t contribute to the betterment of our communities, villages, islands and Provinces”, he said.

Tamara encouraged all eligible voters in the communities that his team has visited so far, to prepare to make the right decisions with their choices of candidates to elect the candidate of their choice to contribute constructively towards promoting the most effective PVCC.