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Vanuatu Supreme Court has allowed the constitutional application for stay on the declaration by Speaker of Parliament, Seoule Simeon, that MP Gracia Shadrack’s seat is vacant.
This means MP Shadrack can attend Parliament sittings pending the final determination of the matter by the Supreme Court on Friday this week.
The Speaker’s declaration was made in Parliament after it was alleged that Shadrack, the applicant in the filed urgent application, had been absent for three consecutive sittings without any notice of absence to the Speaker or Clerk of Parliament.
Members of Parliament (Vacation of Seats) Act section 2 (d), states, “A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat therein if he is absent from three consecutive sittings of Parliament without having obtained from the Speaker, or in his absence, the Deputy Speaker the permission to be or to remain absent”.
The Court heard that MP Shadrack did inform Parliament about his absence on Monday before the decision by the Speaker on Wednesday last week.
Lawyer Kapapa stated that the medical certificate was received by the Parliament secretariat on Monday at around 10am by Albano, Finance Manager of Parliament as the Clerk and Speaker were in Parliament chamber.
He said Albano had informed the Clerk of Parliament of the Medical Certificate.
A total of six witness statements have been submitted on the Applicant’s side, their lawyer informed Daily Post.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS
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