8 Jul 2004

Molisa development in Vanuatu election could decide government stability

10:34 am on 8 July 2004

There's been a surprise development in Vanuatu's elections with the long-time prominent politician, Sela Molisa, struggling to retain his seat in Espiritu Santo.

Mr Molisa, the former Finance Minister who was sacked from Cabinet two months ago, appears to have lost his seat in the northern island, although votes from six polling stations are yet to come in.

Our correspondent Kal Moli says the likely result would be a decisive factor for stability within Edward Natapei's ruling Vanuaku Party:

"Sela Molisa has been the thorn in the Natapei government and has been involved in a very stiff leadership struggle with Edward Natapei. And political observers on the ground have predicted that if he does not make it, that would give some sense of stability as to the Natapei government, if Natapei does retain power."