7 Aug 2019

Vanuatu opposition files complaint against MPs

11:11 am on 7 August 2019

Vanuatu's opposition has filed criminal complaints against the Minister of Finance, Gaeton Pikioune, and MP Tomker Netvunei related to parliamentary secretary positions that a court has ruled 'void and of no effect'.

Ishmael Kalsakau

Ishmael Kalsakau Photo: RNZ Pacific / Sally Round

Opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau has already filed a complaint against Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, accusing him of using the positions to shore up his support while misusing public funds for the salaries.

Opposition whip Jay Ngwele said the complaint against Mr Pikioune is on the grounds of complicity and conspiracy.

He said the minister conspired with the Prime Minister to pay the salaries of Parliamentary Secretaries during motions of no confidence against the government.

Mr Ngwele said Mr Netvunei, who is a former Parliamentary Secretary, signed one of the motions but withdrew his signature when he was offered the post.

However, Mr Netuvnei rejects the complaint saying he was already in government when he was offered the post.