3 Jul 2014

Vanuatu MPs accused of interference

7:48 am on 3 July 2014

The new chairman of the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission says he's recently been approached by two MPs who wanted foreign nationals to be granted citizenship.

As Bridget Tunnicliffe reports, the commission has stuck by its original decision:

"Joseph Tariodo says an MP and former government minister approached him to help a French national obtain citizenship.

He says in another case the Finance Minister Maki Simelum asked if the commission could reverse its decision to decline a citizenship application for a Chinese national.

Mr Tariodo says politicians should respect the laws that they supported.

The two MPs in question were among 52 members of parliament who voted for the amendment to the Citizenship Act in November last year regarding dual citizenship and the Capital Immigration Investment Plan or CIIP.

Under the Plan, foreigners can buy Vanuatu citizenship, and the government has collected more than $421,000 US dollars since the CIIP was set up."