6 Jul 2011

Vanuatu opposition claims cover-up in citizenship cases

6:58 pm on 6 July 2011

A former Vanuatu prime minister, Edward Natapei, says the government wants to cover its tracks over the granting of citizenship to six Chinese nationals reportedly for contributing to the upgrade of parliament.

Mr Natapei says when he was in power last year he granted them only honorary citizenship, which was confirmed by the president.

He says a mistake appears to have been made by the citizenship commission because it had earlier given some of them full citizenship certificates which can only be obtained after living in Vanuatu for 10 years.

"It is a plan on behalf of those who are in government today to cover up something by getting us to agree to issue them with honorary citizenship when they already had certificates of citizenship issued to them."