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Wednesday 20 Mar 2019 | 12:50 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 20 Mar 2019 | 12:50 | SYDNEY

Pacific links: PNG election, Fiji’s and Samoa’s budget deficits, COP23 warm up, and more

New Camp poll station, Morobe, PNG (Photo: Flickr/Commonwealth Secretariat)
  • The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands came to an end last week, after 14 years and at a cost of almost $3 billion. There has been significant coverage on RAMSI, from John Howard, myself, Daniel Evans, Jenny Hayward-Jones and Greg Colton.
  • Elections in Papua New Guinea wrap up this Saturday, but have been punctuated with significant turmoil. Eric Tlozek from the ABC, Stefan Armbruster from SBS and Radio New Zealand have the latest on-the-ground coverage and The Economist has this useful backgrounder.
  • When the dust settles after these turbulent elections, the unifying concern across the country will be the state of the electoral roll. Sam Koim writes about it for Devpolicy.
  • A second vote on who should be the new Vanuatu President has failed to achieve the support of two-thirds of the electoral college, and voting will now go to a third round. There were initially 16 candidates competing for the position.
  • Fiji hosted the Climate Action Pacific Partnership forum this week - a precursor to hosting COP23 next year -  where leaders called for accelerated action to address climate change.
  • Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama used the opportunity to offer permanent settlement in Fiji for any Tuvalu and Kiribati citizens that have to leave because of climate change. Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, however, does not think resettlement is the answer.
  • Fiji handed down its national budget, with deficit spending expected to reach 4.5% of GDP.
  • Samoa also handed down its national budget, with deficit spending reducing from 4.7% to 3.5% of GDP.
  • All of the presentations from the recently held Pacific Update in Suva are now available.  

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