2 Dec 2019

Vanuatu's Supreme Court overturns Speaker's decision

4:19 pm on 2 December 2019

Vanuatu's Supreme Court has overturned a decision last week by Parliament's Speaker to declare an MP's seat vacant.

The Vanuatu Supreme Court building in Port Vila.

The Vanuatu Supreme Court building in Port Vila. Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

The Speaker, Seoule Simeon, ruled that Gracia Shadrack, the MP for Malekula, should lose his seat for missing three consecutive sittings.

Mr Shadrack was alleged to have not advised the clerk of Parliament about his absences.

But he claimed he had submitted his medical certificate on time to show that he could not attend Parliament because he was sick.

The Opposition MP challenged the Speaker's decision in the Supreme Court.

Vanuatu's Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek has placed a stay on the Speaker's decision, allowing Mr Shadrack to resume his duties in Parliament.