5 Nov 2015

Vanuatu opposition considers legal action against speaker

4:39 pm on 5 November 2015

The opposition group in Vanuatu says it is considering legal action against the acting speaker of parliament for refusing to call a sitting this afternoon to debate the 2016 budget.

Ralph Regenvanu

Ralph Regenvanu Photo: WikiCommons / Marke Lowen

An opposition MP Ralph Regenvanu has rejected a statement by Samson Samsen, who said he needed more time to consult the prime minister.

Mr Regenvanu says the pair are just trying to buy more time for the beleaguered government after the jailing of 14 government MPs convicted of bribery last month.

He says he does not see why the Prime Minister is stalling, given the fact that the opposition doesn't have the numbers to force a motion of no confidence.

"The speaker, the first deputy speaker has already responded saying that he has to consult with the prime minister so we have to decide now whether we are going to go to court and if we are, what we will be asking for in terms of the calling of the parliament. We have to consider the appeal that is ongoing as well before we make any decision in regards to how we are going to approach the court in this matter."

Mr Regenvanu also says the President Baldwin Lonsdale has withdrawn tomorrow's deadline for politicians to sort out the impasse, deciding it's more appropriate to wait for Monday's appeal hearings of the 14 jailed MPs.