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Strict security will be enforced in Vanuatu Parliament from now on for people accessing the public gallery of the chamber during Parliament sessions following the discovery of an unspent 16 gauge shotgun cartridge in the public gallery during the first session of Parliament two weeks ago.
The bullet was found under a chair at the top level of the public gallery by the chief security of the Parliament House, Sergeant-At-Arms, David Daniel.
Police are now investigating the incident that is understood to have involved someone who was in the chamber during the opening sitting of the session that was addressed by the late Head of State, President Baldwin Lonsdale.
Acting Clerk of Parliament, Leon Teter, says the incident underscores the urgent need to beef up security at the Parliament House especially for the public gallery during Parliament sittings.
He confirmed discussions have started with the Congress of New Caledonia for assistance to help tighten security in the Parliament chamber by installing additional video cameras to provide cctv footage of the public gallery. He said so far there are four video cameras all of them focusing in the MPs' chamber.
Additionally, Leon Teter said starting from the next Parliament session, everyone that wants to go to the public gallery to observe the debates live will undergo strict security screening that will include the use of the magnetometers or metal detectors such as used by immigration officers at airports to check passengers.
Additionally also, the police will resume tight security controls of visitors into the Parliament House compound during Parliament meetings.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS
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