Vanuatu's only female MP Gloria Julia King says she's "praying for strength" and urging ni-Vanuatu people to hold their political representatives to account, following the recent political impasse in the country.
Plans by the opposition to remove the Speaker of Parliament, Seoule Simon, failed at an extraordinary parliament session on Tuesday.
The opposition lodged a motion last Friday after their no-confidence vote against the government was defeated on a technicality on what constitutes an "absolute majority" in the House.
The special parliament sitting on Tuesday was for MPs to debate 11 bills introduced by the government.
However, the government only had 23 MPs on its side, and was forced to withdraw all the bills.
King, who is a first-time MP and the third deputy speaker, told RNZ Pacific the current situation should not be happening.
"We've just come out of a pandemic, we've just had two cyclones, we're gifted for disaster. We should be in recovery mode now," she said.
She said Vanuatu had "a lot to celebrate" for the past nine months that the government has been in power.
"There's been steps moving forward in regard to the economy. That's a cause to celebrate.
"Whether it's appreciated by everyone, that's what we're not sure of, but we can agree that the whole of Vanuatu does not need this now.
"I'm praying for strength not to have to say things yet, because if I do say it as a woman, it won't be nice things. But more importantly, the House needs to be in order."
'Think of greater good'
Opposition leader Bob Loughman claims democracy is in decline in the country.
King said everyone had a right to their say in the chamber, but she said Loughman should have said that when he was prime minister.
"He should have said that when he was in leadership less than 12 months ago," she said.
"Everyone, prior to this, who were in Parliament had the chance to be able to improve the current governing system of Vanuatu."
She is urging ni-Vanuatu people to hold those whom they put into "elite decision-making positions" to account.
"If you need to have a word with them, encourage them, speak to them, now would be a good time to think of the greater good for Vanuatu and not for certain minorities," she added.
Respect for rule of law
Prime Minister Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau said the opposition leader is playing games.
Kalsakau said Vanuatu has respect for the rule of law.
"The beauty about Vanuatu is we will come to the judiciary at all times where there's respect of the rule of law and that's where we finally resolve our disputes," he said.
He said the government could not continue until the courts have made a ruling on the two cases filed by the opposition.
Kalsakau said the bills introduced by government were "critical" but they'll need to deal with what was happening at the moment.