9 Nov 2010

Vanuatu opposition threatens legal action if its MPs are suspended

1:58 pm on 9 November 2010

The Vanuatu opposition has told the speaker of the parliament, George Wells, that the government cannot suspend five opposition MPs when parliament sits on Tuesday.

The leader of the opposition, Maxime Carlot Korman, says parliament can not suspend him and four other MPs, as the government intends, because there is an issue pending in Court.

Last week the Vanuatu Supreme Court declared valid a decision by Mr Wells ruling on earlier motions by the opposition calling for an extra-ordinary session two weeks.

Following that ruling, the prime minister, Edward Natapei, and his deputy, Sato Kilman, placed a counter motion to suspend the five opposition MPs, claiming they had been abusing parliamentary process.

But Mr Carlot Korman has told Mr Wells that the government's suspension motion is a breach of parliamentary standing orders and if he allows it, he'll be challenged in court.