23 Jul 2019

Vanuatu opposition calls for PM to resign after court ruling

9:19 am on 23 July 2019
Vanuatu opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau

Vanuatu opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

Vanuatu's opposition leader has called on Prime Minister Charlot Salwai to step down after a court threw out a government appeal on the issue of parliamentary secretaries.

The Daily Post reports Ishmael Kalsakau saying the prime minister has no power to make the appointments, an argument he says was supported this month by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Kalsakau says it is likely a criminal case will be filed, considering the huge amount of money that was spent on the parliamentary secretary positions since they were created in 2016.

Earlier, the opposition had accused the government of using the appointment of parliamentary secretaries to prop up its majority support in parliament.

The Court of Appeal ruled the positions were 'void and of no effect' as of Friday, finding they went against the constitution.

The court reached the view that the contracts appointing the Parliamentary Secretaries from the MPs infringe the Constitution and are not lawful.