3 Dec 2004

Transparency International calls on the Vanuatu Government to act against corruption

5:50 pm on 3 December 2004

Transparency International in Vanuatu says politicians and corrupt foreigners pose a threat to the country.

It wants the Government to ratify the UN convention against corruption and attend to issues of governance and alleged corruption.

It made the call as the Government tries to stave off a vote of no confidence despite the Opposition having overwhelming support from the country's MPs.

The watchdog group says the Government has interferred in the judiciary; its anti foreign rhetoric has been very damaging to the country and it has undermined freedom of expression by taking direct control of the state broadcaster.

It says all of the bad publicity the country is receiving is from politicians and the corrupt foreigners they associate with.

TIV says if Vanuatu is ever going to be genuinely politically and economically independent, the corruption must stop.

Vanuatu celebrates 25 years of independence next year and TIV says it should mark this by making a serious and genuine commitment to stamp out corruption and fight the poverty caused by corruption.