18 Feb 2011

Lack of quorum defers Vanuatu leadership challenge

4:14 pm on 18 February 2011

The speaker of Vanuatu's parliament, Maxime Carlot Korman, adjourned this morning's extra-ordinary session due to the lack of a quorum.

The meeting had been called to debate a motion for a vote of no confidence in the government of the prime minister, Sato Kilman.

Earlier in the week, the opposition, led by a former prime minister, Edward Natapei, claimed the backing of 34 of the 52 MPs.

But today our correspondent reports just three of the 29 MPs who turned up were opposition members.

Mr Natapei says they boycotted the session to allow more time to entice back those MPs who'd returned to the government side.

Two former opposition MPs were this week sworn in as ministers, while Mr Kilman has also reshuffled other portfolios.

Mr Carlot Korman has re-summoned the parliament to meet next Monday.