13 Jul 2020

Vanuatu MPs sacked from parliament accounts committee

12:09 pm on 13 July 2020

Vanuatu's Prime minister, Bob Loughman has fired the MPs for the Torres constituency from the Parliamentary Accounts Committee.

Vanuatu parliament buildings

Vanuatu parliament buildings Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

Christophe Emelee is a member of the Vanuatu National Development Party, and Robin Kababa is from the Union of Moderate Parties.

According to RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Port Vila no clear reason was given for the sackings but they have been confirmed by the parliamentary office.

The pair had only been nominated earlier this month by the prime minister.

The Speaker's office has confirmed Mr Loughman has now nominated an Efate MP, Anatol Hymak of Vanuatu First Party, and the MP for Tanna, Xavier Harry of Iauko Group, to replace them.

The Parliamentary Accounts Committee is made up of four government MPs and three from the opposition.

Senior officials suspended

Two senior government department officials have been suspended after complaints by the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jay Ngwele.

Those being sidelined are the Director General of Mr Ngwele's ministry, Harrison Luen, and its Deputy Director, Andre Iatipu.

The Public Service Commission suspended the pair after it received the minister's complaint.

According to the Daily Post, the basis of the complaint relates to the duo's alleged roles in the awarding of public contracts to carry out road construction works.

Police have been investigating the allegations, which are now also subject to a probe by the ministry itself.