16 Apr 2007

Vanuatu Minister for Internal Affairs dismisses continued allegations against him

3:40 pm on 16 April 2007

Vanuatu's Minister for Internal Affairs, George Wells, has dismissed the latest claims that his political party is moving to suspend him for disciplinary matters.

The Daily Post reports that opponents of the MP have issued an unsigned press statement using a Vanuaaku Pati letterhead saying the party's executive endorses the VP disciplinary committee recommendation to suspend him from the party for breaching the leadership code.

Citing issues in his personal life, several VP backbenchers have reportedly been pushing the party's leadership to oust Mr Wells, as well as pressuring the government to replace his portfolio, since last year.

But Mr Wells says both the VP leader, Edward Natapei, and the Prime Minister, Ham Lini, have assured him that he won't be removed.

"All the allegations against me, I have clarified everything in front of the disciplinary committee, and they are satisfied and have assured me that the matter is closed. They (those backbenchers driving the allegations) have tried to pin me down on things that are personal, privacy of someone. As I told them, I said, take out the speck from your eyes and clean yourself before you start pointing the finger at other people."

George Wells