18 Jun 2009

TI Vanuatu welcomes ruling to curb gifting MPs

6:18 pm on 18 June 2009

Transparency International Vanuatu says it's encouraged that MPs are finally being held accountable for the practice of gifting in exchange for votes.

The Supreme Court this week ruled that four MPs be removed from parliament after they were found to have used inducements to win their seats in Efate.

It follows a case last year which saw an Epi MP lose his seat for the same reason.

TI's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson says the practice of gifting is widespread in Vanuatu politics and is destroying the parliamentary system.

She says people have to be taught to distinguish between parliament and village.

"I mean citizens have got to be aware or to be taught that they have to elect leaders not on the basis of the number of gifts or positions they get for their community but on the policy of their leaders so we go in a better direction and are better managed than what we are at the moment."

Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson