24 Jul 2002

Chairman of Vanuatu's Police Commission accused of bowing to political influence

10:45 am on 24 July 2002

The head of a panel set up to choose Vanuatu's next police commissioner says its recommendation has been ignored and she hasn't been told who's been appointed.

Janey Ligo, who is also the head of the Vanuatu Council of Women, says the chairman of the police service commission, Michael Taun, has bowed to political influence.

Ms Ligo says she's been told by a reliable source that the new commissioner was not among the shortlisted candidates.

The panel was set up so that the process would be seen to be transparent but Ms Ligo says Mr Taun has withheld information.

"He refused to tell me who that person is. When he refused I knew the person was not a person we had chosen, because at the start we seemed to have a very good relationship and then very slowly - after we had given him the report - he seemed to keep a distance from me. I'm not impressed by what he has done because he has ignored us and we have done a lot of work selecting a police commissioner."

The prime minister was unavailable for comment.