30 Jul 2013

Vanuatu Opposition fails to prove MPs' corruption in court

1:22 pm on 30 July 2013

Vanuatu MPs in Port Vila have failed to prove in court that several MPs including the prime minister were improperly elected to Parliament.

Six MPs brought a petition, led by attorney-general Ishmael Kalsakau, against the election of prime minister Moana Carcasses, internal affairs minister Patrick Crowby and sports minister Tony Wright.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the Supreme Court heard allegations the representatives made separate inappropriate gifts to constituents prior to the election.

Judge Robert Spears dismissed the petition, saying the applicants did not prove the gifts had an effect on the outcome of the election.

He also said amendments made in 2012 make it harder to overturn the election of a candidate, although there are still fines and prison terms if electoral corruption is proven.

The result means the Parliamentary Opposition will most likely not have the necessary support for a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister.