Women's anti-corruption march in Vanuatu still on
There are still plans for an anti-corruption march in Vanuatu, despite the decision by the country's President overturning a pardon issued last weekend.
The group, Vanuatu Women Against Crime and Corruption, still plans to go ahead with its planned march in Port Vila on Monday.
It had initially focussed on controversial pardoning of 14 MPs after they had been convicted of giving and receiving corrupt payments.
That pardon has now been revoked by President Baldwin Lonsdale and march organiser, Jenny Ligo, says they are keen to march to show their support for the head of state's action.
JENNY LIGO: We believe the President has done his job and we believe our part is to stand in solidarity against corruption and injustice. This is to demonstrate that we also do not want to see these illegal activities happening in Vanuatu, so I think that's the most important thing for women who live in Vila to show physically our demonstration to what has happened.
DON WISEMAN: Do you have a sense of what the average person, or the typical person, in Vanuatu thinks about what's been going on here?
JL: I think what's happened is many people, the reaction is that many people were afraid and many people were frustrated and I believe what has happened has put a question on the credibility of our leaders and it is one thing that I believe women of Vanuatu will need to look at the positive side but we need to show that we will not entertain what has happened.
DW: While this particular incident has been something that has galvanised your group, you have got wider concerns about corruption within Vanuatu?
JL: I think the most important thing in Vanuatu, the population of people, we call ourselves Christians and the majority of people believe very strongly in our motto "In God We Stand" and one of the things that our group, especially women we are looking to the future. We want the future of our children to be bright, and most of us who have travelled to many countries and we are involved with women in other countries, like the Middle East, in Asia, and other Pacific countries, we have learned from other countries and we want to mention that Vanuatu, if we want to say that we have a peaceful nation, a fruitful nation, then we have to step up. Women have to step up, we cannot stay quiet about what is going on, we have to do our part.
Jenny Ligo says she says they have police approval for the march on Monday but are waiting for the green light from the government.
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