19 Dec 2018

Vanuatu parliament changes rules on extraordinary sessions

3:55 pm on 19 December 2018

Standing Orders have been changed in Vanuatu's Parliament which will require signatures for moves like motions of no confidence to be gathered collectively.

The Vanuatu opposition boycotted parliament this morning forcing the speaker to suspend the sitting until Monday next week. 23 November 2018.

Vanuatu parliament Photo: Hilaire Bule/ Vanuatu Government

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported a parliamentary motion, moved by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, was passed after it was unanimously supported by both sides of the House.

The motion sought to amend how parliament can be requested by the majority of members to sit in an extraordinary session.

The change means that a request by majority members of parliament will no longer be signed at secret locations as the signing will have to be made in the presence of the Speaker or the Clerk.

The change was effective immediately.

One of the reasons for the motion to be tabled is due to the issue of allegations that signatures of some of the MPs were forged during the submission of a recent no-confidence motion.

The change is also expected to cut the unnecessary cost to the public purse of running to the Supreme Court to determine whether the signatures of MPs are authentic or not.

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