26 Aug 2004

No-confidence debate put off as Vanuatu parliament closes

3:15 pm on 26 August 2004

The Vanuatu parliamentary Speaker has closed parliament which means Thursday's expected debate on a no-confidence motion in the government cannot take place.

The opposition, believing it has the numbers to unseat the fledgling government of Serge Vohor, tried to lodge a request with the Speaker for an extraordinary sitting of parliament to debate the motion.

But opposition leaders say the Speaker deliberately avoided them so he could not physically receive the request.

The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court which ruled the debate must take place today.

The Speaker has now closed parliament and an opposition spokesperson says the opposition leader, Sato Kilman, is seeking legal advice on where to go from here.