3 May 2004

Vanuatu protest called off to allow court to decide president's status

3:36 pm on 3 May 2004

A planned public meeting and protest march in Vanuatu have been called off because organisers want to allow the courts to decide if President Alfred Maseng should resign.

Mr Maseng was elected on Easter Monday, but since then it's been revealed he's serving a suspended sentence for three counts, including receiving stolen goods.

The State Law office has now asked for a judicial review of the election.

Douglas Ngwele, who is the vice-chair of VANGO - an organisation representing NGOs, says members are united in their call for Mr Maseng's resignation.

Mr Ngwele says people will wait for the judicial process and then decide what to do.

"If the president does not resign or if the court does not rule in favour to what we expect then we will come back again to see what are the necessary plan B to see how we can put forward that issue for the people here in Vanuatu, maybe to make a demonstration to call on the president to resign."

The Vice-chair of VANGO, Douglas Ngwele.