A Vanuatu Court of Appeal decision has validated the acts and decisions of Prime Minister Sato Kilman's government between December 2, last year and June 16 despite an earlier Supreme Court ruling that he wasn't properly elected.
In June, the Chief Justice ruled the parliamentary election of Mr Kilman as Prime Minister in December null and void due to the Speaker's failure to facilitate the mandatory secret ballot as required by Vanuatu's constitution.
The Attorney General Ishmael Kalsakau says while the Supreme Court ruling over the illegality of the vote was correct, Mr Kilman's intervening time in office remains valid on the principle of de facto operation.
"Whilst he was unconstitutionally elected, he remained for that period in office on a de-facto basis. And under that basis, everything undertaken by his government remained legitimate."