9 Oct 2008

Independent Vanuatu MP chides new government

5:44 pm on 9 October 2008

A newly-elected independent MP in Vanuatu, Ralph Regenvanu, says the new government's re-instatement of the Port Vila Municipal Council goes against its stated aim to root out corruption.

Mr Regenvanu says he had been heartened by Edward Natapei's pledge to take action to stop corruption at all levels, something he says also constitutes a large part of his own mandate as the highest polling candidate in Port Vila.

The Council and the Mayor, Paul Avock, were suspended by the Minister of Internal Affairs earlier this year.

In a letter to Mr Natapei, Mr Regenvanu says the financial mismanagement of the Port Vila Municipality, which has involved the squandering of residential taxes often for personal benefit, had been happening for some time.

He says Mr Natapei's re-instatement of many of the same Councillors, and the same Lord Mayor, is not a good start to his stated aim of refocusing efforts and resources on the practice of good governance in public office.