The Vanuatu Government has boycotted Parliament forcing an adjournment until Friday due to a lack of a quorum.
The extraordinary sitting was called to debate a motion-of-no-confidence in prime minister Sato Kilman with the opposition claiming to have the support of 27 MPs to the government’s 24.
The boycott on Monday effectively buys Kilman’s camp more time to lobby support especially in light of the government having had one MP removed from parliament and another facing a potential suspension.
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court upheld the recent dismissal of government MP Bruno Leingkone by the Speaker of Parliament.
The state broadcaster, VBTC reported Justice Bill Hastings in his ruling agreed that Leingkone, who had been seeking medical treatment overseas, had not attended six sittings of parliament – including three consecutive absences – for which had not sought permission from the speaker.
Leingkone’s counsel filed a motion for a stay on proceedings to allow his client to consider an appeal to the decision but this was denied.
RNZ Pacific’s correspondent in Port Vila said a motion has also been filed by the opposition to suspend another government MP Gracia Shadrack for an outburst last month in Parliament during which he allegedly threatened to burn the house down.
Kilman’s government came into power less than a month ago through a similar leadership challenge to the one he will be facing on Friday.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS