19 Nov 2012

Vanuatu custom movement wants amendment on naturalised citizens

11:28 am on 19 November 2012

The secretary general of Vanuatu's customary political party, the Nagriamel movement, says the country needs to amend its constitution to prevent naturalised citizens contesting general elections.

Jeff Patunvanu made the comment following last month's general election in which an American-born naturalised Vanuatu citizen, Robert Bohn, won a seat in the 52-member parliament.

Energised by its own success in winning 3 seats, Nagriamel has indicated it wants parliament to address the increasing influence of foreign interests in Vanuatu.

Mr Patunvanu says naturalised citizens don't necessarily understand the Melanesian values that Vanuatu's constitution is based on.

"We will have an amendment into the parliament this year. Although we already have naturalised citizens inside, we still have to have an amendment to be voted on in the parliament to find out how we treat naturalised citizens in the country."