26 Jul 2019

Vanuatu PM 'open to standing down' following Appeal Court decision

12:16 pm on 26 July 2019

Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai says he is open to standing down in light of the Appeal Court decision against his government's creation of Parliamentary Secretaries.

Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai in New Zealand

Charlot Salwai Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades

Last week the court ruled the positions were 'void and of no effect', finding they went against the constitution.

Mr Salwai has finally broken his silence regarding the decision, telling local media that he is ready to step down as Prime Minister if the court proves that he has committed a crime by spending public funds to pay for the positions.

The Prime Minister said the post of Parliamentary Secretary was created in good faith, but was then politicised

He said he did not ask to become Prime Minister but was nominated by his partners in the Coalition Government, so it is up to them to advise him whether to resign or not.

The Leader of Opposition Ishmael Kalsakau said he is going to file a criminal case against Mr Salwai, the Minister of Finance and the Speaker of Parliament.

He accused the government of using the positions to shore up their support and misusing public funds for the salaries.

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