Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (17 November 2018): PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands
China seen as key for reducing illegal logging in Melanesia. Civil society is looking at China as the best bet for reducing illegal logging in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA:
Papua New Guinea PM's firm won $32m contract despite 'serious irregularities'. A company owned by Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, won a $32m (£25m) government contract to build bridges in the country via a process with “serious procurement irregularities” that may have violated anti-corruption guidelines, the Guardian can reveal.
Maseratis and cruise ships: PNG prepares for global summit. Papua New Guinea (PNG) might be the least likely place to spot world leaders shaking hands. But that's exactly what's happening over the next few days.
Bougainville brings in Fraud Squad to deal with corruption. Corruption is rampant in the Bougainville government, despite Bougainville having a modern system of laws and an effective model of representative government and democracy.
Corruption allegations surround PNG PM's company. A company owned by Papua New Guinea's prime minister won a $US32 million contract to build bridges through an allegedly corrupt procurement process.
Call for more to be done to tackle corruption in Solomons. Transparency Solomon Islands says a recent spate of arrests and convictions for corruption is welcome, but more needs to be done with an election campaign near.
10 MPs in Solomons investigated for corruption. Ten Members of Parliament in Solomon Islands are being investigated by the police for corruption.
Human trafficking suspect granted bail. For the money laundering charges, it is alleged that Geeta Anjana Chandar between September, 2017 and March, 2017 disposed of $79,991.40 into a Bank of the South Pacific account and between February and May, 2014 Seta Sanjana Ram allegedly disposed of $2,525 into two Australia and New Zealand bank accounts that were the proceeds of crime.
Incumbent Frank Bainimarama expected to hold power in Fiji election. The two frontrunners of today’s election are former coup leaders. Incumbent Frank Bainimarama—leader of the 2006 coup—will seek re-election with the FijiFirst party. His primary competition is Sitiveni Rabuka of the SODELPA party, who instigated two coups in 1987. Mr Rabuka was only cleared to contest the election on Monday, after being acquitted on fraud charges.
16 MPs “recognize” alleged corruption by PM and six ministers. A vote by Tonga’s Members of Parliament on Thursday 8 November, agreed (16 - 4) to recognize that Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva and six cabinet ministers had inappropriately spent their budget allocations for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 Financial Years.
Stay in Cooks over Rakahanga electoral dispute. The Cook Islands Court of Appeal has upheld a stay on a by-election in Rakahanga, which is the focus of an electoral petition.