Speaker’s ruling to declare Simeon’s seat vacant quashed

The Supreme Court of Port Vila declared yesterday afternoon that the ruling of the Speaker of Parliament to declare the seat of the Member of Parliament for Epi constituency, Seoule Simeon, vacant last week is unconstitutional.

In delivering his oral judgement yesterday, Judge Oliver Saksak granted the applications of Simeon through his lawyer, Garry Blake.

Blake submitted to the court that Shadrack’s ruling made on 22 April 2021 to invoke the process under section 4 of the Members of Parliament Vacation of Seats Act [CAP 174] to vacate the applicant’s seat in parliament including the First Respondent’s request to the applicant to remove himself from the parliament on the basis that he was to cease to perform as a Member of Parliament, pending the process outlined in section 4 of the Act, is a breach of the applicant’s constitutional rights and was therefore invalid and of no effect.

Blake also sought the ruling of the court in his application to quash the ruling of the Speaker and to confirm the ruling in Sope Vs Attorney General in 1988 that section 2(f) and section 4 of the Act are unconstitutional and are invalid and of no legal effect. Simeon is the Minister of Education.

The legal cost was awarded to the office of the Speaker of Parliament.

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