6 Dec 2004

Vanuatu court yet to rule on speaker's action

4:51 pm on 6 December 2004

The Vanuatu Supreme Court is due to release its decision tomorrow morning on whether the Speaker Josias Moli erred in stopping a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Serge Vohor, last Thursday.

The Speaker ruled that such a vote was not possible given a constitutional change stopping votes of no confidence in the first and last year of any electoral cycle.

But the Opposition say the law change is yet to be gazetted, while Transparency International Vanuatu says there is a requirement that it be submitted to a referendum before becoming law.

The Opposition has indicated that, if successful, it will call for Parliament to be reconvened immediately to allow the vote to be held.

Last week, before the Speaker had refused to allow the vote, 16 members of the Government had indicated they would back the Opposition, giving it overwhelming support.