3 Nov 2015

Top Vanuatu chief says not time yet for MPs' reconciliation

7:12 am on 3 November 2015

A group of Vanuatu chiefs from Santo and other islands have travelled to Port Vila hoping a custom reconciliation will result in the release of 14 jailed MPs.

Crowds gather to witness the convicted MP's inside the escorted Police Vehicle in front of the Correctional facility that they will serve their jail term

Crowds gather to witness the convicted MP's inside the escorted Police Vehicle in front of the Correctional facility that they will serve their jail term Photo: SUPPLIED / Transparency International Vanuatu

The MPs were jailed nearly two weeks ago on corruption charges, leaving Vanuatu in political turmoil.

The visiting chiefs hope to meet President Baldwin Lonsdale on Tuesday as part of the reconciliation.

But the chairman of the Port Vila based, Malfatumauri National Council of chiefs, Sinimau Tirsupe, says now is not the time to be seeking the MPs' release, when the legal process is still underway.

"So to me I think we just leave eveything, leave the reconciliation, and wait for the appeal court to complete. After that then we come to the end of the tug of war and have the reconciliation or peace ceremony."

Legal appeals by the MPs are set to be heard from next Monday.

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