23 Mar 2013

Appeal by Speaker delays vote for new Vanuatu prime minister

2:11 pm on 23 March 2013

A recall of the Vanuatu Parliament ordered by the Supreme Court last night has been delayed by a legal appeal from the Speaker, Georges Wells.

The court ordered MPs back to vote for a new prime minister following the resignation of Sato Kilman on Thursday ahead of a planned vote of no confidence.

Mr Wells then adjourned Parliament, calling an extra-ordinary meeting for March the 29th at which MPs would vote for a new prime minister.

The Opposition has contended this contravened standing orders and appealed to the Supreme Court which late on Friday agreed and ordered MPs back to Parliament.

They were due to meet this morning but Mr Wells appeal against the court's decision is still being heard.

Our correspondent says the support for the Opposition has increased in the past 2 days.

Hilaire Bule says on Thursday it had the backing of 28 of the 52 MPs in the Parliament but this morning 31 MPs were siding with it.

The latest defections include at least 2 cabinet ministers, the care taker ministers of civil aviation and internal affairs, Samsen Samson and Daniel Toara.