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Parliament may suspend standing orders

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 30, 2011) – The Vanuatu government may suspend standing orders to allow a vote on the ratification of its membership of the World Trade Organization.

The parliament has been debating the matter today, but Opposition MPs have raised objections that the government has failed to follow standing orders.

They contend that the government must allow ten business days from the date MPs were formally presented with the document before it is debated, but the MPs have had it for just seven days.

This comes amid growing opposition to the way Vanuatu is going about joining the trade body, with critics saying the people haven’t been properly informed.

Our correspondent says the government is considering suspending standing orders, but a question mark remains over whether they’ll have the numbers to get the ratification.

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