Vanuatu finance minister expelled from party

Vanuatu's finance minister has been expelled from his party.

The Daily Post reported that Gaetan Pikioune was told by the Nagriamel Upper Council of Chiefs that he'd been expelled from the Nagriamel Movement, a tradition-centred political group based in the north.

The Council alleged the minister refused to adhere to the chiefs' request that he resign as an MP, apparently because he continually worked "in contravention to the procedures of the movement".

Among 14 allegations Mr Pikioune is accused by the chiefs of working for his personal political gain, rather than for the growth of the Nagriamel Movement.

It also said Mr Pikioune supported a proposed income tax without consulting the movement, allowed for the sacking of the Nagriamel executive president from the Air Vanuatu board, and of nepotism.

Mr Pikioune told the newspaper he is yet to receive an expulsion letter, but any expulsion would go against the Nagriamel constitution anyway, as the movement's congress would have to decide his case.