The Opposition bloc has lodged a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, yesterday morning.
The motion was deposited by Member of Parliament (MP) for Efate Rural, Joshua Kalsakau, on behalf of the Opposition bloc, during the tea break, after the Head of State, Pastor Obed Moses Tallis, delivered his official speech to the MPs in the First Ordinary Session.
Clerk of Parliament, Raymond Manuake, received the motion from MP Kalsakau.
“The opposition bloc signed the motion in front of me, it was witnessed by the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday afternoon at the Parliament office,” Mr Manuake said.
Speaker of Parliament, Esmon Saimon confirmed to Daily Post that on Wednesday afternoon “they (Opposition) signed a motion of no confidence in front of the Clerk of Parliament, Raymond Manuake and they’ve requested me to witness the signing.
“I clearly told them if they wanted to deposit a motion on the same day (Wednesday), they need 27 signatures to call for a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, but they can deposit the motion during the Ordinary Session of Parliament with only nine signatures,” Speaker Saimon said.
He said with the opening of the First Ordinary Session of Parliament that commenced yesterday, the Opposition bloc only need nine signatures to launch and call for a session to debate the motion of no confidence.
“If the motion was launched on Wednesday, it will not be in order but during the Ordinary Session of Parliament yesterday onward, the Opposition bloc can launch the motion with only nine signatures and it will be in order,” he said.
Leader of Opposition, Ishmael Kalsakau, confirmed to Daily Post that there are four main grounds for the motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Salwai. These are as follows: Air Vanuatu loan by the Government — VT1.23 billion which the MPs were not consulted on and no appropriation in the budget; the welfare of Ambae Volcano victims who were relocated to Santo and seemingly ignored by the government; copra subsidy and the Chairman of Public Service Commission, Martin Mahe, whose work has raised many questions from the Opposition bloc.
According to the Parliament Standing Orders, when a motion is deposited parliament will meet to debate it after seven days.
The motion deposited is in order and ready to be debated in the afternoon of Friday, June 14.
Meanwhile, the First Ordinary session of Parliament of 2019, commenced yesterday morning but it was adjourned to Monday next week, after the Leader of Government Business requested time for the MPs to read through the Bills.
The following 12 bills have been listed for debate: Bill for the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Disaster Risk Management Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Ozone Layer Protection Act No of 2019; Bill for the Correctional Services (Amendment) Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Forestry Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Environmental Protection and Conservation (Amendment) Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Customs (Amendment) Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Rent Tax (Amendment) Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Right to Information (Amendment)Act No. of 2019; Bill for the Telecommunication and Radio Broadcasting Regulation (Amendment) Act No. of 2019 and Bill for the Supplementary Appropriation Act No. of 2019.
The 2019 First Ordinary Session of Parliament is scheduled for June 7-19. Parliament will go into recess on the 20th of this month.