A motion of no confidence bearing the signatures of 29 Members of Parliament was lodged and received by the office of the Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament Thursday.

As the Malekula constituency is heading to a by-election to fill the Parliamentary seat vacated by former MP Assang Sanick, this means only 21 MPs did not sign the motion.

The signatories to the motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau are as follows: MPs Bob Loughman, Marc Ati, Jay Ngwele, James Bule, Sato Kilman, Johnny Koanapo, Johnson Simil, Esmon Saimon, Marc Melsul, Wesley Rasu, Justin Ngwele, Blaise Sumptoh, Xavier Harry, Ati Camillo, John Roy Nil, James Peter Vari, Andrew Kalpoilep, Zacchias Lulu, Christophe Emelee, Jack Wona, Gracia Shadrack, John Amos, Harry Anthony, Ulrich Sumptoh, Samson Samsen, Joshua Pikioune, Simeon Seule, Silas Bule and Norris Jack Kalmet.

The signatories mainly comprise Vanua’aku Pati (VP) MPs led by Opposition Leader Loughman, Rural Development Party grouping under MP Ngwele’s leadership, former government ministers MP Kilman and MP Emelee, government backbenchers as well as the Speaker of Parliament, MP Seule.

Major government coalition partners Leaders Party of Vanuatu (LPV) and Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) are not part of the motion.

The 29 MPs who now command the majority are requesting for Parliament to convene in an Extraordinary session to debate the motion, as relayed to Speaker Seule.

Their notice and motion met the requirements stipulated under Article 21(2) and Article 43(2) of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Previously, Opposition Leader Loughman had denied any knowledge of the motion, dismissing it as mere hearsay and referring to it as a “nakamal story”.

Rumours of a motion had been circulating just a week after the termination of MP Kilman as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands in May this year, but nothing eventuated until Thursday.

PM Kalsakau has already faced a motion of no confidence, which was eventually withdrawn by Loughman during the parliamentary session due to a lack of sufficient support.

During his independence speech, the PM addressed the challenges faced by his coalition government, and a motion of no confidence was cited as one of those challenges.