22 Mar 2013

Vanuatu court to hear parliament adjournment complaint

4:11 pm on 22 March 2013

The Supreme Court in Vanuatu is about to hear arguments that will ask to have parliament reconvened as soon as possible to elect a new prime minister.

The prime minister, Sato Kilman, who was facing a vote of no confidence, resigned yesterday before any vote could be held.

The speaker then adjourned the sitting and announced an extra-ordinary session for next Friday, when the election of a new prime minister would be held.

But the opposition has sought a court order to have parliament reconvened earlier, with the case to be held at the Supreme court at 4pm this afternoon.

The opposition's Ralph Regenvanu says the government is simply biding time to try to buy back support.

"The court has now been called, the speaker has been given time to file his responses to our application. The opposition is asking for a court order for parliament to be reconvened to elect a prime minister as soon as possible, so that may be this evening or that may be tomorrow if that decision goes in our favour."

Ralph Regenvanu says he's confident the opposition can retain its support until Friday if the Supreme court ruling doesn't go its way.