7 Dec 2009

Vanuatu's PM now to face no confidence motion after almost being stripped of seat

5:57 am on 7 December 2009

Vanuatu's Prime Minister faces a motion of no confidence this week, just days after a court ruling overturned a decision that would have stripped him of his seat.

Vanuatu's Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek ruled on Saturday that the speaker's move to strip the Prime Minister, Edward Natapei, of his seat was unconstitutional and had no legal effect.

It looked as if Mr Natapei would lose his parliamentary seat after the speaker, Maxime Carlot Korman, found the Prime Minister had missed three consecutive sittings without submitting an authorised written explanation.

But Justice Lunabek said that on the evidence brought before him in the Supreme Court, he was satisfied the speaker was made aware that Mr Natapei would be attending a Commonwealth Head's of government meeting in Trinidad.

Parliament is to resume tommorrow, when Mr Natapei will face another motion of no-confidence, the fifth since coming to power just over a year ago.