Land and Justice Party
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The Land and Justice Party (in Bislama, Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP)) is a traditionalist, conservative political party in Vanuatu. The party was launched on 11 November 2010 and is led by MP Ralph Regenvanu.
The party aims to produce a generational change in Vanuatu's leadership and is concerned about foreign ownership of businesses. Upon launching the party, Regenvanu -a popular, young and independent Member of Parliament- reportedly described chiefs, churches, women and youth as the four solid legs of the party. He also stated that prospective GJP candidates for parliamentary election would be "severely tested on their record of community service", to ensure that all GJP MPs were committed to defending the public interest.
Subsequently, Regenvanu said his party advocated against people selling their land to investors and thereby depriving their children and descendants of that asset. It also supported a greater use of the customary judicial system, where chiefs act as mediators, rather than the "Western" system, which Regenvanu said often implied significant financial costs for litigants. (See the article on the law of Vanuatu.)
The party obtained four seats in Parliament in the October 2012 general election, the first national election it contested. Regenvanu was subsequently appointed Minister for Lands in the government headed by his ally Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil (of the Green Confederation). As Minister for Lands, Regenvanu -who described himself as a “notorious critic” of free trade and foreign ownership of lands- introduced a proposal whereby land leases would necessarily be examined by a committee, thus depriving the ministry itself of the power to lease lands without any external controls. This was a response to alleged acts of corruption carried out by previous ministers. This unprecedented reform was described as part of Regenvanu's ongoing measures against corruption. More generally, his proposals sought to "untangle a whole series of obscure rules on customary landownership", and provide clarity to landowners.
In the February 2013 provincial election, the party's Willie Fred Tasso won the presidency of the Malampa Province Provincial Government Council. The party currently participates in the government of Moana Carcasses.
The party was reportedly the first ever to field a candidate with a disability in any election in Vanuatu, when wheelchair user Arthur Simrai stood in the municipal election in Port Vila in November 2013. Regenvanu indicated that the party wished to push, in particular, for buildings to be better equipped for wheelchair access.
- Ralph Regenvanu, for details on the party's founder
- "POLITICS: New party for ‘MP Ralph’" Archived 2011-03-27 at the Wayback Machine., Islands Business, December 2010
- "Vanuatu new political party seeks to install 'good' leaders". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Regenvanu to launch new Vanuatu political party". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Land and justice key for good life: Regenvanu", Vanuatu Daily Post, July 5, 2011
- Cabinet of Vanuatu Archived 2013-03-09 at the Wayback Machine., CIA, December 20, 2010
- "New govt"[permanent dead link], Vanuatu Daily Post, December 7, 2010
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- "Vanuatu minister calls for ‘enshrining’ of custom land tenure to protect Pacific", Pacific Scoop, 23 April 2013
- "Les réformes foncières préoccupent le Vanuatu", Radio Australia, 18 October 2013
- "Vanuatu opposition makes gains in provincial elections", Radio New Zealand International, 1 March 2013
- "Disabled candidate in a first for Vanuatu's municipal elections", Radio Australia, 31 October 2013
- "First ever person with disability to contest an election in Vanuatu", Vanuatu Daily Post, 21 October 2013