28 Jul 2004

Vohor reported to have more support ahead of Vanuatu's selection of a Prime Minister tomorrow

3:28 pm on 28 July 2004

There are reports in Vanuatu that Serge Vohor's Union of Moderate Parties coalition has attracted more support ahead of the vote for the Speaker and Prime Minister tomorrow.

The vote was put off on Monday when a minority faction headed by Ham Lini of the National United Party and the caretaker Prime Minister Edward Natapei boycotted Parliament, denying it the necessary quorum.

Tomorrow's vote requires a simple majority rather than the 75 percent needed on Monday, and Mr Vohor and his coalition of six parties and independents seem certain to assume power.

Mr Vohor, who is a former Prime Minister, had the backing of 28 of the 52 MPs on Monday, but our correspondent Kal Moli says his support has grown in the intervening days.

"we have confirmation that the numbers on Serge Vohor's side can increase to 33 - that is with the People's Progressive Party and the National Community Association, which had originally signed with both factions and have now chosen to go with the winning side"