2 Mar 2004

Vanuatu government reshuffle announcement delayed

4:07 pm on 2 March 2004

An expected announcement in Vanuatu of another cabinet re-shuffle has been delayed.

The prime minister, Edward Natapei, has been under pressure to replace the finance minister, Sela Molisa, in the latest phase of a rift within the ruling Vanuaaku Pati.

Two senior ministers, Joe Natuman and Donald Kalpokas, are no longer in the government while a dispute over who is allowed to use the party name is to be decided in court.

Our correspondent, Kalvau Moli, says the government has not said why it has not dropped Mr Molisa.

"We are contemplating several reasons. Maybe one is due to the fact that he is the minister of finance and also he will have to deliver on several budgetary requirements for Vanuatu to recover from the cyclone."