19 Aug 2011

Vanuatu parliament closure causes losses says opposition

5:03 pm on 19 August 2011

The speaker of the Vanuatu parliament, Maxime Carlot Korman, has closed an extra-ordinary session of parliament after just ten minutes, saying the government hadn't followed standing orders.

The opposition has now called for prime minister Sato Kilman to resign.

The extra-ordinary session had been called to allow for a supplementary budget to cover school fees for children on cyclone hit Tafea, to pay outstanding student allowances and to provides wages for 120 teachers who haven't been paid since the beginning of the year.

Mr Carlot Korman says under parliamentary rules, a bill can only be debated seven days after its deposited in parliament, but that hadn't happened been done in this case.

The deputy opposition leader, Edward Natapei, says adjourning parliament until next Friday will cost about two and a quarter million US dollars.