23 Nov 2015

Vanuatu President urged not to dissolve Parliament

5:17 pm on 23 November 2015

A leading opposition MP in Vanuatu is urging the president not to dissolve Parliament, despite the government and opposition's failure to end a political impasse.

Joe Natuman and the Prime Minister Sato Kilman have been meeting all weekend to try and resolve the impasse, which began after 14 government MPs were last month jailed for bribery.

On Friday, the country's highest court rejected their appeals, which means the 14 are now no longer MPs.

Sato Kilman - pictured during a visit to Russia in March 2015

Prime Minister Sato Kilman Photo: Vladimir Pesnya / RIA Novosti

Mr Kilman has rejected the opposition's proposal to form a government of national unity , instead saying he'd rather the President Baldwin Lonsdale dissolve parliament, which he threatened to do if an agreement was not reached by Sunday.

However, the acting Speaker has now called parliament to meet on the 14th of December to pass a budget.

Mr Natuman says the president should respect this calling.

"Now that the parliament is called, we hope that the President of the republic will not do anything that might stop the calling of parliament in which we will approve the budget which will assist the population of the country to meet some of the urgent disaster needs which we are facing at the moment."

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