VANUATU’S OMBUDSMAN SUGGESTS LANDS MINISTER KILMAN RESIGN

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (February 25, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Vanuatu's Ombudsman has recommended that the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Sato Kilman, resign because of alleged breaches of the Leadership Code.

In a public report, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson said Kilman should resign because he voted in favor of a Council of Ministers decision to repeal the ban on the export of Vanuatu round logs.

That decision, the report says, gave S.K. Logging Company export authority, adding that Kilman is a director of S.K. Logging and earns 200,000 vatu ($US 1,600) a month.

The Ombudsman found that Kilman breached the Leadership Code by allowing himself to be placed in a position of conflict of interest as both a Minister and, in his private capacity, as a Director of S.K. Logging.

She recommended that Kilman resign as Director of the logging company because of the potential for further conflicts of interest.

Ferrieux-Patterson also discouraged Kilman from seeking re-election in the March 6 Vanuatu general elections.

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