2 Jul 2014

Alleged interference in Vanuatu citizenship

7:47 pm on 2 July 2014

Members of the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission have expressed concern over alleged political interference.

The chairman says he and another member of the commission were summoned by the Finance Ministry to discuss the citizenship application of a Chinese national.

Bridget Tunnicliffe reports:

"The commission had approved applications from other family members but declined Sun Yongwei's in accordance with the Citizenship Act, because he was over 18. Following the decision the chairman Joseph Tariodo says he and Charles Ah Po were summoned to the Finance Ministry. Mr Tariodo says the Finance Minister Maki Simelum, asked if the commission could reconsider granting citizenship to Sun Yongwei. He says a representative from the Capital Investment Immigration Plan task force was at the meeting as well as the Commissioner of the Financial Service Commission, George Andrews, who asked if the decision could be reviewed. The commission has stuck by its original decision."