5 Aug 2011

Vanuatu government coalition boycotts parliament

1:35 pm on 5 August 2011

The Vanuatu prime minister, Sato Kilman, has boycotted this morning's extra-ordinary session of parliament.

He was joined by 30 members of his coalition meaning the parliament lacked a quorum.

18 opposition MPs and two from Mr Kilman's side turned up at parliament.

Yesterday Mr Kilman had promised to remove the speaker, Maxime Carlot-Korman, for his role in the controversial parliamentary ousting of Mr Kilman as prime minister in April.

Mr Kilman successfully challenged that ruling.

But Mr Carlot-Korman has threatened to suspend some MPs for changing their political affiliation, saying that's what's caused the parliamentary turmoil of the past six months.

The leader of the opposition, Serge Vohor, says that threat from the speaker may have caused today's boycott.

He says the country needs to hold elections to end the instability.