8 May 2002

Confidence that Coalition in Vanuatu will stay united

4:57 pm on 8 May 2002

In Vanuatu, the political co-ordinator of the Vanua'aku Pati, Willie Reuben Abel, says they are confident that the Union of Moderate Parties remains committed to their coalition.

In unofficial results since last week's election, the UMP has made significant gains.

It expects to have 13 seats in the 52 member Parliament, while Mr Abel says the Vanua'aku Pati will have the backing of 18 MPs, including four independents.

He says the talk of Vanuatu in recent days has been that the leader of UMP, Serge Vohor, may back out of a coalition commitment made prior to the election.

But Mr Abel says the UMP leader is well aware that the party has benefitted from its close association with the Vanua'aku Pati since they formed the government a year ago.

"This has assisted them in reviving the party, and Serge, the leader of the UMP, knows this very well. I don't think he will take anymore of which, may be detrimental to the cause ofhis party. The Prime Minister has spoken with him,and he is confident that he prefers to work with the Vanua'aku Party."

Willie Reuben Abel, the political co-ordinator of the Vanua'aku Pati.