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21 Vanuatu MPs told to declare their political affiliations by Tuesday

Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament, Esmon Saimon, has given an ultimatum to over 20 Members of Parliament to declare their political affiliations.

“All MPs must comply with section 52 of the Standing Orders of Parliament,” Speaker of Parliament, Saimon, reminded the members.

According to the Speaker’s record, only 31 out of the 52 MPs have filled out the required forms, indicating their political affiliations.

“To the 21 MPs who have not filled the forms, you have to declare your political affiliations and return the forms to the Office of the Speaker as required by Tuesday or I will reveal your names,” he said.

Under section 52, every member is required to inform the Speaker in writing of his affiliation or alliance with any political party or group represented in parliament; and all companies, businesses or other organisations in which he has any pecuniary interest of any kind, whether direct or indirect as owner, employee, partner or shareholder “within three months of his election”.

Members are also required to inform the Speaker of any change in their political affiliations, as soon as possible, especially in cases where they are now affiliated with other political parties, not the same ones they have been elected under.

“It is almost two years (since the election of the 11th Legislature),” the Speaker added, noting it is way past the three months’ requirement.

Speaker Simon also verbally informed all the MPs present that the motion of no confidence that he had received from the Opposition bloc is in order; and will be debated on Tuesday, the same day the 21 MPs were required to submit the forms indicating their political affiliations.

To date, parliament has passed the Bill for the Ratification of Certain Conventions and Protocols, Bill for the Maritime (Conventions), Bill for the Privately Financed Airport Infrastructure Projects (Amendment), Bill for the Utilities Regulatory Authority (Amendment), Bill for the Value Added Tax and Bill for the Supplementary Appropriation.

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