Supreme Court strikes out petition by former Vanuatu PM Kilman

Vanuatu's Supreme Court has struck out the constitutional petition of ousted prime minister Sato Kilman.

Kilman had filed submissions for urgent relief on Wednesday, October 11.

His counsel argued that the challenge by now Prime Minister Charlot Salwai was unlawful because he did not secure the required 27 signatures for a vote of no-confidence.

However, the Speaker Seoule Simeon had contended that since there was a seat vacant at the time the motion of no confidence was deposited, only 26 signatories were required.

Late on Friday, Judge Edwin Goldsbrough said that the former prime minister had "no arguable case".

"The position may change following the decision on appeal in CAC 2642 of 2023 but the function of this court is to determine whether a date be fixed for a hearing or whether the petition be struck out on the material now presented.

"On that material now presented, the petition must be struck out as the petitioner has no arguable case. Unless the submissions to contrary are filed during 7 working days, the publication of this decision and order for applicant to pay the costs of the 1st and 2nd respondent, to be agreed or taxed, is made," Judge Goldsbrough ruled.

Following the ruling, the Speaker Simeon welcomed the decision of the court saying he anticipated already that the court would rule in his favour.

Meanwhile, sources from the opposition said they will decide on whether they would appeal the judgement later.