7 Dec 2004

Vanuatu court will on Wednesday consider whether to allow appeal over no confidence vote ruling

10:14 pm on 7 December 2004

The Vanuatu Chief Justice will tomorrow morning consider grounds for an appeal over a decision dismissing the Speaker's ruling that a vote of no confidence in the Government could not go ahead.

This afternoon the Chief Justice Vincent Lunabeck dismissed Speaker Josias Moli's ruling of last Thursday which blocked the Opposition holding the vote.

The Speaker had claimed that it was not possible given a constitutional change which barred such votes one year after, and one year before, an election.

Parliament was to meet immediately following the court decision to carry out the vote, but the Government won a stay on the judgement after filing an appeal.

The merits of any appeal will be considered this morning, but Opposition leader Sato Kilman says it's likely that the court will allow it.

He says the Court of Appeal may meet before the end of the week.

The Opposition, which has the backing of at least 35 members in the 52 seat Parliament, has confirmed that it wants the leader of the National United Party, Ham Lini, to replace Mr Vohor as Prime Minister.

Mr Lini, the brother of the country's first Prime Minister, Father Walter Lini, is the current Deputy Prime Minister.