26/09/2021

COURT | “NO SEATS VACATED, N0 STAY ORDERS REQUIRED’

22 July Court Orders by Judge Treif state the Government lawyer Sakiusa Kalsakau did not apply for a ‘Stay Order’ as only the supreme court has the power to vacate seats. The courts also added that Mr Kalsakau may later decide to revisit a stay order if the current speaker decides to enforce the former speaker’s announcement.

Judge Trief stated that article ’54 of the Constitution provides that is the ‘Supreme Court who may determine whether or not a member of Parliament has vacated his seat.

The Court of Appeal held in its recent judgment in Welbur vs Republic of Vanuatu (2021) VUCA 40 that the speaker was entitled to make his announcement on June 8 2021, however, the MPs affected by the speaker’s statements are entitled to challenge by an electoral petition the speaker’s conclusions as to absence without permission on three consecutive days.

Court minutes show ‘that petition has been filed and will be determined in current matter.

Court Orders also show that ‘pending the courts determination, no vacation of seats has occurred’ and ‘accordingly, stay orders of the speaker’s announcement made on 8 June 2021 are not required.