Vanuatu MP Opposes Election Of Naturalized Citizens

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Currently working on bill to ‘defend’ rights of ni-Vanuatu

By Thompson Marango

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 29, 2012) – Veteran Member of Parliament for Tanna Constituency Morking Stevens Iatika has revealed his intentions to table a private member’s bill to amend the national constitution of Vanuatu to prevent non-indigenous citizens from contesting general elections.

Even though Vanuatu has seen its first ever-naturalized citizen elected into the 10th legislature after the last election, Iatika said he has legal representatives preparing the bill which he plans to introduce when the next parliament sits.

"I am working on a bill which will aim to amend our constitution to protect and defend the rights of indigenous ni-Vanuatu" Iatika told Daily Post recently.

"I believe only the natives of this country should be allowed the privilege of representing their people in Parliament because only an indigenous person will know how to properly address people’s concerns in a manner and pace that is fitting to the people."

The Tanna MP added that currently the people of Vanuatu in the rural constituencies are not safe from people with money who can brainwash voters and rob the honesty of a ni-Vanuatu.

Meanwhile Iatika has responded to Vanuatu’s first ever naturalized citizen Member of Parliament, Robert Bohn’s recent media statement saying Vanuatu and its people have their own pace of development and has to be considered.

Although the Tanna MP said he agreed with some important points raised by the Epi MP he still believes knowing the customs and tradition of the people will give a better understanding of the realities about development in the country.

This belief that only indigenous people should be allowed to contest in the general election has been raised even before this year’s election by the Nagriamel Movement.

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