VANUATU PRESIDENT LEYE REFERS OMBUDSMAN ACT REPEAL BILL TO SUPREME COURT

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (December 9, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Vanuatu's head of state, President Jean-Marie Leye, has referred the bill to repeal the Ombudsman's Act to the Supreme Court.

The court has confirmed receiving the document, but says it is unlikely to deal with the case until next year, Radio Vanuatu reports.

The controversial bill by government MP William Edgel was passed by Parliament last month. after which President Leye announced that he would not sign the bill into law until he had sought the court's ruling on its legality.

The Vanuatu Association of Non-government Organizations, VANGO, has applauded the President' stand.

The organization is conducting a public opinion poll which shows the majority of people are opposed to the government's decision to scrap the Ombudsman's Act. Early results have been sent to President Leye, urging him not to sign the bill into law.

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