23 Nov 2011

Vanuatu's WTO membership vote further delayed

4:26 pm on 23 November 2011

There's been a further delay to Vanuatu's membership of the World Trade Organisation.

Parliament was due to debate a bill ratifying accession this afternoon but that was postponed after the Attorney General advised the bill was incomplete.

The opposition says it had not received the full agreement signed by the Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini last month and the bill could not be debated on that basis.

The full protocol has now been distributed to the 52 MPs and parliamentary standing orders say it will now be three days before the bill can be debated.

The opposition has already indicated that its 20 MPs will vote against ratification.

Vanuatu first applied for WTO membership in 1995.