11 Feb 2013

Vanuatu anti corruption chief calls for transparency over leader's debt

7:35 pm on 11 February 2013

The Vanuatu Corruption Commission says the issue of the Prime Minister's eligibility for the recent election still needs to be addressed despite a petition on the matter being struck out of the Supreme Court.

The petition challenged Sato Kilman's eligibility, alleging the Prime Minister hadn't settled his outstanding debt to government.

Other candidates were made to settle their debts before being allowed to contest.

Justice Robert Spear ruled that Port Vila MP Willie Jimmy was ineligible to file the petition because he isn't from the same constituency as the Prime Minister, Malekula.

The Commission's Phil Manhire says there is a need for transparency over the alleged debt.

"We may see a different result should the court case proceed on the actual facts of the matter, not on who is entitled to make the case or whatever. The reality is that this is a question for the Vanuatu government, the Vanuatu people, and they just want to make sure that everything was kosher, it was done properly in accord with the law, and in accord with the laws that had to be followed by everybody else who ran for parliament in the elections."

Phil Manhire