Chief and Ex-MP, David Abel has Passed Away

Chief David Abel (born 22 November 1956) a former Member of Parliament for Vanuatu has passed away this week.

A descendant of the high chief of Tongoa/Shepherds, was mandated by the Maraki Vanua’ariki Council of Chiefs of Tongoa/Shepherds in 2005 to lead the campaign for the claims  for the rights of their people to the Port Vila land.

He was elected to Vanuatu parliamentary under Shepherds Alliance Party in 2008.

He served as a parliamentary committee member during his term.

Before entering Parliament, he worked with the local government council and in the Department of Lands and at the Municipality of Port Vila in the department of finance as an accounts officer.

The Vete Association land claim graffiti. Photo/Graham Crumb

He was president of The Vete Association an organisation that represents and provide a forum in which various individuals, groups, claimants, and families from Tongoa and the Shepherd Islands can express their grievances concerning their social, cultural and economic land rights, particularly in Port and Efate in general.

A Vete Alliance election poster. Photo/RNZ

In 2016, he contested the snap election under the Vete Alliance party.

In 2018, he lead a small group of men from Vanuatu with Aboriginal ancestry to Australia on a mission to reconnect with their long lost family, and to push for better recognition of their Australian ties.