21 Nov 2014

Carcasses says only Vanuatu opposition has benefitted from his fund

7:32 pm on 21 November 2014

The Vanuatu opposition leader, Moana Carcasses, says only opposition MPs have so far benefitted from a fund he set up.

The government has called on the parliamentary speaker to suspend 16 of the opposition MPs over their involvement in the scheme, which they say contravenes the Leadership Code.

Moana Carcasses Kalosil

Moana Carcasses Kalosil Photo: RNZI

Mr Carcasses has offered 10,000 US dollars to any MP from either the opposition or the government side willing to pledge allegiance but our correspondent reports him saying only opposition MPs have taken up the offer.

And Mr Carcasses says if the government is going to suspend anyone it should suspend all 22 members of the opposition.

The government wants the MPs suspended until the end of the first ordinary session of parliament next year.

MP Christopher Emelee has called for parliament to be dissolved so the people can decide rather parliament penalising the MPs.

Long time MP, Willie Jimmy, who is in the opposition, says the government's call is not new for Vanuatu.

He says in 1988 the Father Walter Lini government suspended 18 MPs who had boycotted a parliamentary session.

But he says the government's action is unconstitutional and if it has an issue it should test it in court.