Parliament fires absent leader
PORT VILA: Vanuatu’s prime minister lost his seat in parliament yesterday due to a simple paperwork error, officials said, throwing the tiny Pacific nation’s politics into turmoil.
Prime Minister Edward Natapei forfeited his seat after missing three sittings in a row without notifying the Speaker – a “flabbergasting” blunder, said one analyst.
“It was a standing order,” the Speaker’s office said.
Natapei was rushing back from a Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago, while his cabinet went into emergency talks.
To retain his seat, Natapei needed only to hand in a signed explanation for his absence.
Vanuatu will be ruled by a caretaker government until parliament elects a new prime minister next week. – Sapa-AFP