17 Apr 2019

Vanuatu president seeks judicial review of constitution change

11:23 am on 17 April 2019

Vanuatu's President is seeking a Supreme Court review of a proposed amendment to the constitution which was endorsed by parliament.

Vanuatu's new president Tallis Obed Moses

Vanuatu's new president Tallis Obed Moses Photo: Dan McGarry

Last month, Parliament passed a bill formalising the role of parliamentary secretaries, quasi-ministerial positions held by MPs that have existed since 2012.

The bill was forwarded to the president's State Office to be passed into law but the Daily Post reported the office was seeking a judicial review.

The Attorney General has consented to a request from the office to engage a private lawyer for a court hearing.

A spokesperson from the office said the president, Obed Moses Tallis, had no negative comments on the bill but felt it was better to seek the court's opinion.

The bill passed parliament by a vote of 41 to seven at the end of March and would formalise the role of the parliamentary secretary in the Constitution.

It would also set a maximum number of parliamentary secretaries equal to two-thirds of the number of ministers.