15 Oct 2015

Vanuatu Opposition demands reason for payments to its MPs

9:40 am on 15 October 2015

The acting leader of the opposition in Vanuatu Ham Lini has called for the government to explain why it has deposited one million Vatu into each of the opposition MPs private bank accounts.

Vanuatu's Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini

The acting leader of the opposition in Vanuatu, Ham Lini Photo: RNZI

A leaked letter from Mr Lini to the Prime Minister Sato Kilman on Monday says the US$8900 deposits were labelled "TC Pam Refund LPO".

He has called on Mr Kilman to explain the reason for the payments as he is concerned they are unlawful.

Mr Lini says the payments were not budgeted for in the 2015 Appropriation Act.

The letter is dated a day after Sunday's gazetting of the controversial pardoning of 14 MPs found guilty of corruption.

An opposition spokesperson says five MPs from the government side have defected to the opposition this week.