Vanuatu PM accused of corruption | Pacific Beat

Vanuatu PM accused of corruption

Vanuatu PM accused of corruption

Updated 10 July 2013, 17:55 AEST

A bag of rice has landed Vanuatu's Prime Minister in hot water.

Moana Carcasses Kalosil is accused of using rice to buy votes in the lead up to last year's election.

It is one of multiple claims of bribery against the Prime Minister and two other MPs being heard by the Supreme Court in Port Vila

Reporter: Brendan Arrow

Speaker: Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Vanuata's Prime Minister.

ARROW: Under Vanuatu's electoral system a petitioner can approach the Supreme court claiming bribary occurred during the campaign by the successful candidate.

In this case Ishmael Kalsakau Kal-sark-cow, Vanuatu's State Attorney General, alleges three government ministers, including prime minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil, committed briberies in order to win the six Port Vila seats during last year's general election.

The Port Villa Supreme Court has been told Mr Carcasses gave a 25 kilogram bag of rice to people in Seaside Paama.

The Prime Minister is also accused of voting at a different polling station to the Port Villa Minicipality Town Hall where he was listed.

Mr Carcassess, is in Sydney today trying to sure up business deals, and has denied the allegations.

He had little to say when initially asked about the issue by Australian media.

CARCASSES: Because that case is open in court I don't think it's proper for me to make any statement about it. We just wait for the outcome of the court. I think that would be much proper.

ARROW: But when pressed on whether the issue could result in a No Confidence motion that could throw him out of office he said he was confident that would happen, but confident he would win.

CARCASSES: Well this is the story of Vanuatu, the motion of no confidence. It is the oppositions only tool to fight against the government, so of cause they are going to try very hard to put a motion. Good luck for them.

ARROW: The Port Vila Supreme Court also heard claims the current minister of international affairs Patick Crowby gave money directly to people to vote for him.

It's also alleged a member of the campaign team for the minister for Youth and Sport, Tony Wright, gave money to a bar and invited people to drink for free.

Claims of corruption are are nothing new in Vanuatu.

Mr Carcasses took over from Sato Kilman - who resigned just before a no confidence motion was due to be debated in parliament - in March of this year.

That no confidence motion would've been the seventh such motion Mr Kilman faced since taking office in 2010.

But these events do not dampen Moana Carcasses Kalosil's quickfire rise.

When he was elected Prime Minister by 34 of Vanuatu's 52 MPs, he became the first naturalised citizen to become prime minister since Vanuatu gained independence more than 30 years ago.

And since coming to power Mr Carcasses has wasted little time in making a name for himself, by promising to terminate a defence coorperation agreement with Indonesia and supporting West Papua's push for independence from Indonesia.

The move was one of 68 measures contained in an ambitious 100-day plan for the new government.


Contact the studio

Got something to say about what you're hearing on the radio right now?

Send your texts to +61 427 72 72 72

Add the hashtag #raonair to add your tweets to the conversation.

Email us your thoughts on an issue. Messages may be used on air.