3 Dec 2009

Vanuatu Supreme Court gets Natapei files

2:37 pm on 3 December 2009

Vanuatu's prime minister, Edward Natapei, has filed an official complaint over the decision of speaker of parliament, Maxime Carlot Korman, to declare his decision vacant.

Although Mr Natepei said he would challenge the ruling his lawyer only lodged the papers with the Supreme Court yesterday, with the hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

Last Friday, the speaker declared Mr Natapei's seat vacant after he had flown to Trinidad and Tobago, thereby missing three consecutive sessions of the parliament without giving the required explanation.

If the court rules in Mr Natapei's in favour, he will face a no confidence motion that was deposited last week by the new opposition leader, Ham Lini, who had been was sacked from his position as deputy prime minister.

The motion is scheduled to be debated next week.

At the moment, Mr Lini has the support of 13 of parliament's 52 members.

If tomorrow the verdict is in favour of the speaker, parliament has to elect a new prime minister next week.