VANUATU LAWMAKER REJECTS VANDALISM CHARGES

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (RNZI, Feb. 27) - Vanuatu’s opposition leader is strongly rejecting allegations that party members had anything to do with vandalism at the Reserve bank and the finance minister’s house.

Police are investigating the smashing of a glass wall at the bank and the ripping down of a fence at Sela Molisa’s house, and it is believed the two incidents could be linked to people opposed to the introduction of new taxes.

Opposition leader, Willie Jimmy, says no member of any opposition party has anything to do with the vandalism.

"Throw that one out," said Jimmy. "It’s an allegation, not evidence, and they are open to any challenge.

He said the opposition is opposed to the new taxes and voted against the debit tax in parliament but that is as far as the protest goes.

February 27, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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