2 May 2003

Vanuatu PM still hopeful of coalition with NUP despite no confidence vote threat

4:03 pm on 2 May 2003

The Vanuatu prime minister, Edward Natapei, says he is still hopeful of a broad coalition to emerge with the inclusion of the opposition National United Party despite its leader, Willie Jimmy, calling for a no-confidence vote.

Mr Natapei says talks have been held with the new president of NUP, Ham Lini, and Serge Vohor of the Union of Moderate Parties, who is the deputy prime minister.

Earlier this week, Mr Jimmy said the proposed merger was off and the government would face a no-confidence motion over its policies.

But Mr Natapei says the challenge does not stand in the way of a possible merger.

"Now Willie Jimmy being the leader of the opposition is heading a motion of no confidence in the government but that's something that parliament will be dealing with when it meets in June and that is not to stop any negotiations between the three parties who arranged a coalition between the three."

Edward Natapei, the prime minister of Vanuatu