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[Radio Australia] No-Confidence Motion Lodged Against Vanuatu PM

Carcasses currently facing allegations of buying votes

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 10, 2013) – A motion of no confidence has been lodged against Vanuatu’s prime minister and is scheduled to be debated in parliament next week.

The motion comes as Vanuatu’s Supreme Court is hearing a case of alleged bribery by the country’s recently elected prime minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil.

Multiple claims have been made against Mr. Carcasses, including allegations he and two other ministers engaged in vote buying practices ahead of last year’s election.

Vanuatu’s Attorney General Ishmael Kalsakau alleges three government ministers, including the prime minister, bribed voters in order to win six Port Vila seats during the 2012 general election.

The court has been told Mr. Carcasses gave a 25 kilogram bag of rice to people in Seaside Paama. He denies the allegation.

Mr. Carcasses is also facing claims he voted at a different polling station to the Port Vila Municipality Town Hall where he was listed.

Vanuatu’s electoral system allows a petitioner to approach the Supreme Court after the election to claim bribery has been committed by the successful candidate.

Mr. Carcasses delayed a court appearance to be in Sydney for the signing of a memorandum of understandingwith AusAID and cruise company Carnival.

Earlier, Mr. Carcasses said the opposition would be likely to move a motion of no confidence against him.

“Well this is the history of Vanuatu, the motion of no confidence. The opposition has only that tool to fight against the government, so of course they are going to try very hard to put a motion. Good luck for them.”

Vanuatu’s Supreme Court also heard claims the current minister of international affairs Patick Crowby gave money directly to people to vote for him.

It is 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.

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

He was the first naturalized citizen to become prime minister since Vanuatu gained independence more than 30 years ago.

Since coming to power, Mr. Carcasses has promised to terminate a defense cooperation agreement with Indonesia and support 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.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
Copyright © 2013 Radio Australia. All Rights Reserved

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