6 Feb 2020

Vanuatu's caretaker PM confident he'll be cleared of charge

4:24 pm on 6 February 2020

Vanuatu's caretaker prime minister says he's innocent and confident he will be cleared of any charges he faces.

Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai in New Zealand

Vanuatu's caretaker prime minister, Charlot Salwai. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades

Charlot Salwai is among several MPs who were this week served court summons, which is understood to include a charge of perjury.

Mr Salwai told the Daily Post that when he was served with the documents, there was nothing attached to say what he had been charged with.

But he said he would appear in court on 25 February, and was confident the court would nullify the case against him, clearing the path for him to contest the March elections.

The charges largely stem from a controversial move by the government to introduce parliamentary secretaries - paid government positions that the Supreme Court last year ruled 'void and of no effect.'

The Opposition last year called for a criminal investigation into the positions, which they called corrupt political appointments.

However, Mr Salwai has criticised the charge against him as a political move by the Opposition.