24 Jun 2011

Vanuatu TI says corruption worsening

12:48 pm on 24 June 2011

The president of Transparency International in Vanuatu says corruption at the political level in the country is getting worse.

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says the current instability, which has seen five changes of leadership in just over six months with another possible this Sunday, is fomenting the corrupt behaviour.

She says the politicians want power to have access to funds and because they're not sure how long they'll retain power they rush into obvious and terrible things to make as much money as possible.

Mrs Ferrieux Patterson says in Vanuatu this often involves the controversial granting of land leases.

"What happens is that the ministers basically grant leases to friends or to people who might be paying them money. And that has happened. We have seen examples, especially when Minister Iauko was there, but I think successive ministers have done similar things."

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson.