Motion to suspend Opposition MPs

The Vanuatu Government has lodged a motion to suspend all 22 Opposition MPs from attending four consecutive Parliament sittings.

The Vanuatu Parliament Clerk, Raymond Manuake says another condition provided in the lodged motion is for the suspended MPs to repay the cost for delaying Parliament before they could attend the sitting.

Mr Manuake says whatever that is agreed in Parliament today will determine how Parliament proceeds in the coming days.

Clerk Manuake says even if the 22 Opposition MPs are suspended, Parliament can still proceed because majority of the MPs are from the government side and will be attending.

He says this will affect the absent MPs sitting allowances.

However Mr Manuake says “The concerned people that are affected by the motion still have the right to seek court ruling if they feel there is an infringement to their rights under the constitution.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau says the reason to this lodged motion is because the Opposition MPs boycotted the first parliament sitting that should have happened last week.

He says there is no basis to the allegation made by the Opposition MPs concerning the Climate Change Minister’s visit to a quarantine facility which led to them boycotting Parliament last week.

Mr Kalsakau says this is a serious allegation and accusation made by the Opposition MPs.

Mr Kalsakau says the boycott of Parliament has affected many institutions that have involved in the preparation of the first ordinary sitting of Parliament that should have taken place last week.

He says this also is a huge expense for the country.

“This is not small money and it involves big institution. That is the reason why we lodged the motion to suspend them,” Mr Kalsakau said.

In responds the Leader of Opposition, Ralph Regenvanu confirms the Opposition MPs will attend the first ordinary sitting today, Tuesday 16 June but made no further comments.

The first ordinary sitting of Parliament should have taken place last Thursday but the Opposition MPs boycotted Parliament with allegations that the Minister of Climate Change entered a quarantine facility breaking the quarantine rule and posing an health risk in Parliament when he attended the sitting.

Therefore the Speaker of Parliament, Gracien Shadrack adjourned the sitting to today Tuesday 16 June, because there was no quorum for Parliament to continue.

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