28 Nov 2014

TI Vanuatu - latest scandal a sad chapter

1:20 pm on 28 November 2014

Transparency International Vanuatu says the alleged bribery scandal engulfing parliament is a sad chapter in the country's history.

Parliament this week suspended 16 opposition MPs for allegedly contravening the Leadership Code by accepting money from the opposition leader Moana Carcasses.

Mr Carcasses has been lobbying support for a motion to topple the Prime Minister Joe Natuman.

The opposition leader says his deposits of as much as 10,000 US dollars into bank accounts of various MPs were intended as loans.

Transparency's Dr Willy Tokon says the transferral of money between MPs around moves to change government are not uncommon.

"But it's always been very hard to prove, so we've never brought anyone to task. But this time it seems like nobody is denying the fact that money transactions took place, they're just trying to justify it and explain it. But whether people like it or not, a bribery is a bribery."