Vanuatu Parliament to elect Chairpersons

The Vanuatu Parliament elected members of both the Government and Opposition side are to elect their chairpersons and vice chairpersons.

The Opposition side has already nominated its Members of Parliament that will be in each of four committees.

The four committees are Public Accounts, Social Policies, Economic Policies, Constitutional and Institutional Affairs.

Parliament successfully passed the motion of establishing committees and to elect the chair and his vice outside parliament and also to reduced the numbers of standing committees from eight to four.

In past legislatures, the eight committees are: Standing Order Review, Institution, Privileges, Economic Policies, Public Accounts, Social Policy, Members of Parliament Ethics and Integrity and Foreign Affairs and External Trade.

The chairpersons and vice chairpersons for the four committees are paid positions and seven members of the committees will only get allowances when committees convene.

The positions of the vice chairpersons will be official as soon as the Official Salaries Act is amended.

Parliament automatically resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole House under the chairmanship of the speaker when debating a private or government Bill.

They are often referred to as the ‘workhorses’ of a Parliament. It is at the committee stage that the text of parliamentary bills is revised and refined to ensure that it is correct and ready for debate by the full Parliament

Parliamentary committees are part of the oversight mechanisms that operate in parliamentary democracies.