3 Nov 2011

Concern over new appointment to Vanuatu National Provident Fund board

2:46 pm on 3 November 2011

The head of Vanuatu's National Workers Union has expressed concern over the appointment of a new chairperson to the board of the National Provident Fund.

The finance minister, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, has sacked the former chairperson, Benjamin Shing, and replaced him with his first political advisor, Morris Michel.

Mr Carcasses has been trying to stop an eviction order from the National Bank that applies to about 100 politicians who have failed to repay loans to the Fund.

Politicians' preferential access to Fund loans sparked the country's worst riot in 1998.

According to our correspondent in Port Vila, Hilaire Bule, the union's general secretary, Ephraim Kalsakau, says the politicians must face the consequences of not paying their loans .

"He says that if the intention of Mr Carcasses Kalosil is to put on hold the eviction order he told me the politicians cannot be above the law, the law is for everyone."

Hilaire Bule says more than 20 politicians and their families have already been evicted and the order affects about 500 people.