Vanuatu opposition accuses MP of taking jobs as bribes

Christophe Emelee, a former parliamentary secretary, is accused of accepting his previous role after a failed motion of no confidence against the prime minister.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the opposition whip Jay Ngwele as claiming Mr Emelee took the job as a bribe in exchange for support against the motion.

Mr Ngwele has also accused another MP, Bruno Lengkon, of taking the same job for the same reasons.

Both MPs insist they accepted their posts in good faith.


More jail time for Vanuatu bribery convicts

RNZ reports they are among 14 MPs serving terms after being found guilty of receiving money to cross the floor of parliament and change the government.

A former speaker Marcelino Pipite had pardoned himself and his colleagues of the bribery convictions while he was acting president during the president's absence overseas.

Pipite has now been sentenced to four years in prison to be served after his jail sentence for three years for bribery.

TIPNG: MPs must follow anti-bribery laws

Chairman of TIPNG, Lawrence Stephens, said Sections 61 and 62 of the Criminal Code Act 1974 clearly outlines that bribery of Members of Parliament involves, “attempts, directly or indirectly, by fraud, threats or intimidation of any kind, to influence a member of the Parliament in his vote, opinion, judgement or action on any such question or matter, or to induce him to so absent himself”.

“Our Members and each of us must be urgently reminded of the provisions pertaining to Bribery within the Act.

Bribery trial draws crowds in Vanuatu

The politicians are alleged to have received bribes a year ago from the then opposition leader, Moana Carcasses, who is now deputy prime minister.

Moana Carcasses was allegedly trying to procure the MPs support before a planned vote of no confidence to remove the then prime minister Jo Natuman.

It is alleged that US$319,000 was involved.

Radio New Zealand International's Vanuatu correspondent, Hilaire Bule, says it is the first bribery case involving the country's leaders and about a hundred people are observing the trial in Port Vila.