Opposition: The cost of stability or plain corruption

THE recent motion of no confidence in the government of Charlot Salwai exposed many government MPs for causing ongoing instability since 2016, says the Opposition Leader.

Ishmael Kalsakau said that for the first time, the Opposition took the sound step of requesting those government MPs who shared a lack of confidence in the Prime Minister to sign an attestation.

“This was with the aim of finally stopping corruption in the Vanuatu Parliament by preventing those MPs from trying to personally benefit from the instability such motions can cause,’’ he said.

“For many years now, motions of no confidence have been called simply as a bargaining tool by some MPs for personal gain.’’

Mr Kalsakau then named nine MPs he believed had gained promotion in this manner.

For legal reasons The Vanuatu Independent Online has decided not to publicise those names at this stage.

Mr Kalsakau said the Opposition is committed to preventing further corruption and personal gain of parliamentarians and is seeking the prosecution under the leadership code of nine MPs for bribery.

“The Opposition has received advice those nine MPs who signed the attestation have signed a legally binding document which would be proven in court, resulting in the prevention of MPs from disrupting parliament for their own personal gain,” he said.

“Such a finding would prevent the need for any amendments to the Constitution requiring a referendum, which would be costly and time consuming.

“The MPs who originally signed the motion of no confidence have changed their stories several times, from denying their signatures to admitting they signed but changed their mind. The attestation made it clear the MPs signed with clear knowledge and understanding of their actions.

“A letter was presented from nine MPs prior to the debate earlier this week stating they had withdrawn their signatures. This is evidence which should lead to the prosecution of those MPs.”