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Secretary-General calls for restraint and respect for the rule of law in Vanuatu

18 October 2015
Statement by: Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma

Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma has commented on recent developments in Vanuatu, underscoring the importance of continuing to uphold the constitution and the rule of law, in accordance with Commonwealth values and principles.

“The Commonwealth Charter is clear that governments, political parties and civil society are all responsible for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices. All are accountable to the public,” the Secretary-General said. “The people of Vanuatu understandably and reasonably expect the rule of law and their constitution to prevail.”

In particular, Mr Sharma emphasised the importance attached to political space, “The Commonwealth contributed to a dialogue process for Vanuatu’s political leaders in February 2015, which has produced a roadmap of potential reform to strengthen the country’s democratic processes and institutions. The Commonwealth is committed to working with political leaders and all concerned to take forward these reforms.”

The Secretary-General also commented on the current court proceedings concerning some Members of Parliament. “It is important for all concerned in Vanuatu to be patient, restrained and respectful of the rule of law. That is the Commonwealth way,” he concluded.