No Quorum, Parliament Adjourned

Members of Parliament will reassemble for Day 3 of the Second Ordinary Session of Parliament at 8.30am today.

Speaker of Parliament, Gracia Shadrack put his foot down on punctuality and adjourned Parliament yesterday because there was no quorum at 2pm.

This is in accordance with section 19 (1) of the revised Standing Orders of Parliament on Bells which stipulates the timing for the ringing of the bell to summons Members to the Chamber.

Section 19 (2) states: (a) On any sitting day at 8.15 a.m. for twenty (20) seconds, at 8.26 a.m. for three quarters (¾) of a minute, and at 8.29 a.m. for one (1) minute;

(b) At the beginning of the second period at 1.45 p.m. for twenty (20) seconds and at 1.59 p.m. for one (1) minute;

(c) For a nominal vote, first bell ten (10) seconds, pause, second bell (10) seconds, pause, third bell twenty (20) seconds. Members have four minutes from the time the first bell is rung to take their seats for a vote;

(d) For a quorum, one continuous bell for up to five (5) minutes, or until a quorum is formed;

(e) For an adjournment, two short bells, five (5) seconds, pause, five (5) seconds;

(f) If the Speaker suspends the Parliament by leaving the Chair in accordance with Standing Order 18(4), the bell is rung continuously for five (5) minutes to summon Members back to the Chamber.

Under Standing Order 18 (4), the Speaker may, at any time temporarily suspend a sitting, but for no longer than three hours. The sitting recommences on the ringing of one long bell.

Previously before Speaker Shadrack first adjourned Parliament on Thursday afternoon last week, Leader of Government Business Hymak Anatole had indicated the Bill for the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (Amendment) Act No. 2020 will be the first to be tabled in Parliament.

Accordingly, yesterday morning, Minister for Finance and Economic Management Johnny Koanapo presented the bill in Parliament. It was supported by both government and Opposition MPs.

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