26 Jan 2010

Vanuatu minister asked to resign over Mathew and Hunters move

9:14 pm on 26 January 2010

Vanuatu's opposition leader, Ham Lini, has asked the minister of internal affairs, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, to resign for compromising Vanuatu's stance over the Mathew and Hunters islands which are also being claimed by France.

This follows the minister's recent private visit to New Caledonia where he proposed to France that the two uninhabited islands should become a condominium shared by Vanuatu and France.

Mr Lini says Mr Carcasses failed to consult the people, the government and the Kanaks of New Caledonia.

The opposition leader says the people of Vanuatu have already spent a lot of money on the disputed islands.

The opposition says that the decision to do or say otherwise by a senior government minister can be seen as an act of espionage and resistance towards Vanuatu's economic zone policy and sovereignty.