Par­lia­ment fires ab­sent leader

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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