15 Jun 2011

Supreme Court verdict on Vanuatu Prime Ministership due now today

6:35 pm on 15 June 2011

A Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of Sato Kilman's leadership of the government of Vanuatu is now due out this morning.

It was initially due to be announced yesterday.

On Monday Chief Justice Vincent Lanabek heard witnesses for both the opposition leader, Edward Natapei and prime minister Kilman as well as the speaker and clerk of parliament.

The court heard that there was no election last December to select Mr Kilman as prime minister despite the fact that Vanuatu's constitution states that parliament shall elect the prime minister by secret ballot.

The court's expected to deliver its ruling at eight o'clock this morning.

Mr Natapei says if the ruling's in Mr Kilman's favour, when parliament sits half an hour later the motion of no confidence he posted last week will be the first item for debate.

Mr Natapei says if the ruling goes against Mr Kilman he'll cancel the motion and begin legal proceedings against the five MPs accused of perjury.