21 Mar 2014

Warnings over recent political appointments in Vanuatu

7:12 pm on 21 March 2014

A watchdog group in Vanuatu says the appointment of a convicted fraudster, to a senior position in government, does nothing for the country's image.

In 2012 Clarence Marae was a political aide to the then Prime Minister Sato Kilman and was arrested by Australian police while passing through Sydney International Airport.

He was convicted of involvement in a four million US dollar tax fraud and jailed initially for a five and a half-year sentence.

Freed from jail, Marae recently returned from Australia and immediately landed a new job as the first political adviser to the Minister for Internal Affairs Paul Telukluk.

In addition, the head of Transparency International Vanuatu, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says two government ministers have recently appointed their sons to senior positions, and it's a worrying sign.

"And basically reinforce all the resentments of people towards politicians that as soon as they get into position they reinforce their own family income and they move from there to basically build a little empire while they are in power."

The head of Transparency International Vanuatu, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson.