11 May 2004

Vanuatu's President removed from his position by Supreme Court

9:48 am on 11 May 2004

Alfred Maseng, who was elected President of Vanuatu just over a month ago, has been removed from the position by the Supreme Court.

After his election on Easter Monday, it was revealed he was serving a suspended sentence for three crimes including receiving stolen goods.

Since then, there has been a clamour for his removal and the State Law Office successfully sought three orders against the election.

Our Port Vila correspondent, Kal Moli, says the Electoral Commission has issued writs for a new Presidential vote to be held by the Electoral College, before the end of the month.

"The electoral college, which is made up of about 58 MPs and presidents of the provincial councils, who will have to come to Port Vila within three weeks"

Kal Moli says the vote is likely to be overshadowed by a projected vote of no confidence in the Government of Edward Natapei.

He says the faction putting the motion have 28 votes in the 50 seat Parliment.