Vanuatu Opposition calls for explanation from President on pardons

The Opposition Leader in Vanuatu is calling on the president of the republic to explain why he pardoned nine former MPs serving time for corruption and conspiracy.

The nine were among 13 prisoners pardoned earlier this month by Tallis Obed Moses.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported Opposition Leader Ralph Regenvanu calling on the President to explain to the public why the pardons were given and what the criteria was for selecting inmates to be pardoned.

Mr Regenvanu said selective pardoning of former MPs sent the wrong message about what Vanuatu stood for as it celebrated its 40th anniversary of independence this week.

"This pardoning which blatantly favours politicians is in contravention of the Constitution, the laws and the founding values of this country, and is a shameful example to be showing our citizens and the world on our 40th anniversary as a liberal democratic state," said Regenvanu.