Supreme Court convicts 14 parliamentarians
Vanuatu’s Supreme Court has found 14 MPs, including Deputy Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, guilty of giving and receiving corrupt payments. One other MP, Willie Jimmy, had previously pleaded guilty.
The unicameral parliament consists of 33 members and the Supreme Court ruling is likely to leave the government without a majority. All 15 MPs are now expected to lose their parliamentary seats leaving the country with either a series of by-elections or, more likely, parliament could be dissolved and fresh elections held.
If Prime Minister Sato Kilman can’t bring enough opposition members into the government to secure a majority then the likelihood is that a motion of no confidence could be brought against the government which could also lead to a general election.