12 Sep 2014

Vanuatu MP warns against government deporting foreigners

3:33 pm on 12 September 2014

A Vanuatu opposition MP has warned that the government's deportation of foreigners could backfire against the country.

Last week, the government deported an Australian lawyer, Robert Herd, amid allegations he was involved in funding a no confidence motion against the Prime Minister, Joe Natuman.

An MP, Christophe Emelee, says Mr Natuman is happy to deport foreigners based on allegations they are involved in internal affairs when it negatively impacts his Vanuaku Party.

But he says that's unlikely to be the case when the current opposition is in power again.

Mr Emelee says it is publicly known there are foreign investors helping the Vanuaku Party.

He says Vanuatu needs investors and if the country starts deporting them, it could cost millions if the foreigners challenge their deportation in court.

He says it will also lose revenue from taxes paid by foreigners, and may have to tax small ni-Vanuatu business people.