12 May 2004

Vanuatu government gives reasons for election of a new parliament

9:47 am on 12 May 2004

The Vanautu Government says it has called an early election because of the continuing destabilising impact of votes of no confidence.

Court action is underway asking the Supreme Court to determine whether the acting president, Roger Abiut, was within his rights on Monday night in accepting the Council of Ministers decision to dissolve parliament and hold fresh elections.

Mr Abiut has been the acting head of state after the election of President Alfred Maseng was declared invalid last week.

The administration moved after the tabling of a motion for a vote of no confidence next week.

Willie Jimmy, the Deputy Prime Minister, and parliamentary leader of the National United Party says Parliament was dissolved in an effort to maintain stability.

"Since the election of 2002 this is the 5th motion of no confidence. The first four, even though they were not thought to have the numbers, we believe contributed to the political instability in the country."

Mr Jimmy also says neither side had the numbers to ensure the election of a new Governor General on May 24th and this was an additional reason for going to the people.