11 Jul 2019

Vanuatu opposition wants end to passport sales

From , 3:01 pm on 11 July 2019

Vanuatu's opposition is calling for a halt to the government's passport scheme, blaming it for the recent and controversial deportations of Chinese nationals.

It adds to mounting criticism of the sale of thousands of passports, including from Vanuatu's first president and the country's chiefly council.  

Last month, the International Monetary Fund urged Vanuatu to reduce its reliance on passport sales to make debt more sustainable.

And it was again put in the spotlight when Vanuatu on Thursday deported six Chinese nationals, four of whom held Vanuatu passports.

Opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau told Mackenzie Smith the government has been to slow to act on passport sales.

Vanuatu parliament

Vanuatu parliament Photo: RNZ/Sally Round