25 Nov 2015

Vanuatu parliament dissolved, snap election called

7:14 am on 25 November 2015

Vanuatu's President Baldwin Lonsdale has dissolved the country's parliament and called a snap election.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Father Lonsdale said his decision was in the best interests of Vanuatu.

"As I said in my address dissolution was always going to be a last resort, to restore the integrity of our nation and safe guard our nation, our country. So that our country won't have to continue going through this political instability."

The government and the opposition have spent the past two weeks trying to resolve a political impasse which began after 14 government MPs were last month jailed for bribery.

Father Lonsdale said he had given the two sides enough time to come up with a solution and it was in the best interests of the people of Vanuatu that parliament be dissolved.

Under the constitution, a snap election will be held on a date to be set by the Electoral Commission some time within the next two months.

The Constitution states an election must be called no earlier than 30 days and within 60 days of the dissolution date.