Campaigning Stopped In Wake Of Vanuatu Minister’s Death

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Parties reportedly plan to renew activities after Crowby laid to rest

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 31, 2013) – When Port Vila learned about the death of Patrick Crowby, Minister of Internal Affairs, in New Caledonia the presidents of the parties that are contesting the Port Vila Municipality have temporarily stopped public campaigns.

Port Vila would still go to Polls and elect 12 councilors and specifically five female councilors from the Reserve Seats on January 7, 2014.

But because Crowby was the late Minister of Elections and was a former Port Vila’s First Citizen who had transformed it to The Most Beautiful City in the South Pacific as Mayor in the ‘90s many longtime Vanuatu politicians want to pay homage to Crowby.

And will announce the re-opening of political public campaign when he is laid to rest in Port Vila Cemetery.

Indirect instructions have been issued that no public campaigns will take place until such time as Crowby’s body arrived from Noumea tonight.

Many politicians have observed the stand taken by the leaders of political parties as one 2014 Port Vila Municipal Council contender in FresWota confirmed that "they have been asked to stop campaigning until Monday night".

The late Crowby is a son of Port Vila and he will be the first Vanuatu minister who has passed away but buried in Port Vila.

In the past, a deceased minister and a former prime minister were sent for burial in their home islands or constituencies.

Crowby followed his mother’s political party, the UMP then joined the late Father Walter Lini’s National United Party in 2008, was elected in 2012 as a UMP candidate but then joined Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Green Party and political observers say the Greens Party will be greatly affected in this election in terms of public political campaigning,

Many Greens want to get elected in next year’s elections and make noise about their political propaganda but inside them they feel they have to honor the loss of one of their very senior ministers and this mixed feeling could have a cause on the elections a former Greens Central Ward councilor said.

On the other hand there could be some undecided Port Vila voters who could vote out of sympathy for the loss of a former Greens MP and former Greens statesman.

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