20 Feb 2013

Vanuatu diplomat denies funding political campaign

7:07 am on 20 February 2013

The Vanuatu diplomatic representative Pascal Ahn Quan Saken denies that he has funded political campaigns for the People's Progress Party of the Prime Minister Sato Kilman.

A Vanuatu Honorary Consul in Vietnam since last year, although more recently working to develop of Vanuatu's Embassy at the EU and its UN mission, Mr Saken has played down reports that he is closely linked to the Kilman-led government.

However Mr Saken says money he directed to a colleague in Vanuatu was misused as financial support for Mr Kilman's fight against a parliamentary motion of no-confidence in 2011 .

But he says he has never directly assisted political campaigns.

"I'm a diplomat, I have to stay neutral. It could be the current ruler... I have to stay neutral. I have a contract of five years with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If the Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot is revoked, I have to be able to work with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs."