11 Jun 2021

Vanuatu parliament brouhaha awaits court resolution

3:50 pm on 11 June 2021

The Speaker of Vanuatu's Parliament, Gracia Shadrach, has adjourned today's session until Wednesday next week.

Vanuatu parliament building in the capital Port Vila.

Vanuatu parliament building in the capital Port Vila. Photo: RNZI/ Walter Zweifel

Shadrach told parliament the adjournment is because of cases pending in the Supreme Court.

This morning 19 government MPs returned after their seats had earlier been declared vacant by the speaker due to their absense on three consecutive days.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered parliament to resume today, and placed a stay on the speaker's declaration.

The court's stay order also prevents the government from tabling a motion to remove the speaker.

The next step in the legal process is for a lawyers' conference on the stay orders on Monday.

At the centre of the political brouhaha is a motion for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister Bob Loughman.

When the speaker accepted this motion it infuriated the government, driving their desire to have him removed from the post.

Meanwhile, Loughman told media today that he was confident his government still had the numbers to survive a motion of no confidence.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs