Former Vanuatu PM

Former Vanuatu PM to defend charges

Two former cabinet ministers, charged with similar offences, Matai Seremaiha and Jerome Ludvaune, and former MP, Tom Korr, also pleaded not guilty.

The next stage of the trial was set for Thursday next week.

The bribery and corruption counts are related to the Leadership Code.

They arose after complaints from the current Deputy Prime Minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, from when he was the Leader of the Opposition during the last Parliament.

Former Vanuatu PM to enter plea

As well as the Pentecost MP, three other former members of his government are also facing bribery charges.

These are the MP for Luganville and former minister of agriculture, Matai Seremaiah, former minister of health, Jerome Ludvaune, and former MP for Tafea Outer Islands, Tom Korr.

If the four accused plead not guilty the court is expected to set a date for trial.

The charges stem from complaints filed by the former leader of the opposition and now Deputy Prime Minister, Ishmael Kalsakau.

Former Vanuatu PM confident of beating corruption charges

The court of Wednesday committed Mr Salwai, two former ministers and a former MP to stand trial next month.

Daniel Yawah said Wednesday's decision was not a surprise.

All were facing corruption and bribery charges while Mr Salwai had also been charged with perjury.

The charges stem from a complaint by former opposition leader and now deputy prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau.

Kalsakau claimed that in November 2016, the defendants bribed MPs to sign an ultimately failed motion of no confidence.

But Yawah was confident they would beat the charges.

Natuman out of Vanuatu election

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the Commission rejected the former president of the Vanuaaku Pati due to his guilty plea in a high profile conspiracy case.

Meanwhile two other former Prime Ministers - Pentecost candidate, Ham Lini of the National United Party and Malekula candidate Sato Kilman of the People's Progressive Party - have both qualified to contest.

The names of over 230 candidates have been approved to contest the election.


Vanuatu's former PM Natuman seeks re-entry to Parliament

Joe Natuman is one of over 250 applications for candidacy submitted to Vanuatu's Electoral Commission.

Mr Natuman, who was convicted for perverting the course of justice, is approaching the end of his suspended two year sentence.

According to the Vanuatu Daily Post, his sentence is to end shortly before the election date, 19 March.

The Chair of the Electoral Commission, Martin Tete, is seeking advice from the State Law Office as to Mr Natuman's eligibility as a cadndiate.

The former prime minister applied as a candidate under the Vanua'aku Pati banner.

Call for Vanuatu to seek seat on UN committee of 24

RNZ reports Barak Sope said Indonesia is only on the committee to ensure the subject of self-determination in West Papua is not discussed.

Vanuatu is one of the strongest supporters of Papuan self-determination and Mr Sope has been one of the strongest advocates.

He said Vanuatu has a right to sit on two UN committees and should push to have its say on what is known as the Commmittee of 24.