14 Jul 2005

Vanuatu government facing compensation action after airline sacking, claims ex-PM

3:10 pm on 14 July 2005

A former prime minister of Vanuatu, Edward Natapei, says the government risks facing a costly compensation claim after sacking the chairman of the state airline, Air Vanuatu.

Mr Natapei says the government has broken the law by sacking Harry Iauko as the company chairman.

Mr Natapei says all shareholders must approve this, and not just the minister of infrastructure, Maxime Carlot Korman, by himself.

"To terminate any of the board members, the minister would have to take it back to the shareholders' meeting, have the approval of the shareholders, before he can terminate any of the board members."

Mr Natapei says the sacked chairman has the right to take the matter to court and demand compensation, which he says the government can't afford at this stage.