The political future of one of Vanuatu's most promising young leaders looks uncertain after he was charged with attempted rape and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
The Ifira MP, Joshua Kalsakau, has been granted bail following his arrest late last week when a formal complaint was lodged with police by the alleged victim's mother.
The alleged offence took place on New Year's Eve, with eyewitnesses reports saying the MP was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Our correspondent Len Garae says Mr Kalsakau, who is a former Minister of Justice, comes from one of Efate's prominent families and the incident has shocked the local community.
He says there's been no comment yet from the national government which Mr Kalsakau is a part of.
"That is the dilemna. The government has not come out to say how they feel about this and his family, a very chiefly family, has remained silent on this. The information that we have is that they are as shocked as everybody else."