15 Oct 2012

Vanuatu media reject threats over reporting PM's debt

1:22 pm on 15 October 2012

The Media Association of Vanuatu says it won't be cowed by threats of stringent legal controls on local media by the caretaker Prime Minister's political advisor, Richard Kaltongga.

Mr Kaltongga has criticised what he describes as irresponsible reporting about the exclusion of Sato Kilman's name from the list of election candidates.

The caretaker Prime Minister was initially omitted from the list by the Electoral Commission over an outstanding 140,000 US dollar debt to the government.

The Association's President, Evelyn Toa, rejects Mr Kaltongga's claim that local media reported incorrectly on the story, calling his criticism political propaganda.

"Our investigation shows that the caretaker Prime Minister owes the people of Vanuatu 13 million vatu (140 thousand US dollars) and we have proof, we have evidence, and he cannot use politics to humiliate or intimidate our journalists."

Evelyn Toa