Vanuatu Parliament

Vanuatu Parliament to debate no confidence motion this afternoon

Both the Government and the Opposition bloc claim to have numbers.

The Government claims to have 33 Members of Parliament on its side and the Opposition also claims to have 30 MPs on its side to topple Prime Minister Salwai.

During the parliament session yesterday more MPs were sitting on the Government side than that of the Opposition side.

The Government bloc had 33 MPs after the court case on Unity Day, while the Opposition claimed it has numbers and maintained 30 over last weekend.

Former Vanuatu deputy PM to appeal ejection from parliament

Joe Natuman resigned last week after the Speaker of Parliament barred him from entering the chamber and declared his seat vacant.

The speaker's decision followed Mr Natuman being given a two-year suspended sentence in March, after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Yesterday, the magistrate's court rejected Mr Natuman's bid for a judicial review challenging his removal from parliament.

Outside the court, Mr Natuman said he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Vanuatu seeks assistance to beef up security at parliamentary chambers

This follows the discovery of an unspent shotgun cartridge in the public gallery by parliamentary staff a fortnight ago.

The Vanuatu Police Force is investigating the incident.

At the same time security measures have been stepped up at parliament.

The acting clerk of parliament, Leon Teter, said the incident underscores the urgent need for security to be beefed up in the house during parliament's sittings.

Mr Teter said visitors to the public gallery will now have to go through security screening, including magnometers and metal detectors.

 

Vanuatu parliament unites in opposition to PACER Plus

Vanuatu said last week that it was not yet ready to sign the trade and aid deal for Pacific nations with Australia and New Zealand, joining Fiji and Papua New Guinea in their opposition.

RNZI reports the opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau said he is happy the government had finally heard the concerns raised on behalf of the people about the possible impacts the agreement would have on Vanuatu.

Mr Kalsakau believes the agreement will mean more cheap imported goods, which he says may contribute to an increase in the number of cases of non-communicable diseases in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Parliament steps up security following discovery of ammunition

This follows the surprise discovery of ammunition of a short gun in the public gallery by parliament security staff.

Information collected from parliament corridor said that that ammunition was found on one the seats in the public gallery.  

A government statement said It is expected that the ammunition was introduced through parliament chambers during the opening of the first ordinary session of Parliament last Thursday,

 

Photo by Government of Vanuatu 

     

Vanuatu security and depleted Opposition

He made the call in his address at the opening of the First Ordinary Session of parliament in Port Vila yesterday.

In his response, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said he agreed with the concerns raised by the President.

He said action was already being taken to connect all the provincial police posts to a central system in Port Vila on crime daily, and police recruitment.

PM's PR Officer Hilaire Bule says 46 of the 52 MPs sat on the government side of the chamber, 5 on the opposition side and Deputy Opposition Leader, Sato Kilman sat alone as an independent.

Vanuatu Govt set to face another no confidence motion

The motion from nine opposition MPs was lodged on Thursday, according to local reports.

The Opposition was absent on Thursday morning, prompting a delay until next Monday of the special sitting, but the speaker today called the session off after a request from the prime minister, to allow Parliamentary committees, convened to report on several topics including the Constitution, to give their findings.

The motion is now set to be tabled net Thursday.

MPs resign, Motion to be resubmitted not ruled out: Vanuatu Opposition leader Kalsakau

RNZ reports the support of two-thirds majority of the 52 MPs, is required when the proposed reforms goes before Parliament, for the 2nd reading, which is scheduled for December 12.
 
The Government currently commands only 33 MPs, more than enough to defeat a motion of no confidence but not enough to advance with the proposed changes to the Constitution.
 

Vanuatu parliamentary session opening delayed a day

24 government MPs attended but without a quorum the opening day of the session had to be postponed.

Radio Vanuatu reports opposition MPs wanted more time to consider bills.

Failing to turn up on the first day of the parliamentary session is a common tactic in Vanuatu politics.

Vanuatu Women's Council says life should apply to sex with under 16s

RNZ reports Parliament is due to soon debate a new law which proposes to introduce a life sentence for sex with children aged under 13.

But National Council of Women Executive Director Leiasmanu Cullwick said the age should be higher.

"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen they are still children as far as we are concerned, and very vulnerable, the trauma that is inflicted on these children is immense," said Leiasmanu Cullwick.

Ms Cullwick said they are sad they were not consulted about the new legislation but believed there was still a chance the age limit can be amended.