16 Dec 2009

Vanuatu speaker stops vote as motion against him looms

11:16 am on 16 December 2009

The speaker of the Vanuatu parliament, Maxime Carlot Korman, is still in office despite earlier suggesting he would resign.

He had approved a motion seeking his removal and a vote was expected yesterday.

But he ruled that under the standing order, parliament cannot debate a matter that is pending in Court.

Last Thursday, the leader of the government business, Thomas Isom, made an oral motion to suspend the standing order of the parliament to allow the debate on the motion.

The standing order only allows one hour debate on a written motion but Mr Isom proposed to suspend it to allow another hour to debate the motion against the speaker and to elect a new speaker.

The motion was deposited by two government ministers two weeks ago when the speaker unsuccessfully tried to declare the prime minister's seat vacant.

The government has now taken the matter to court.