30 Jul 2004

Vanuatu PM Vohor prepares speech to nation

7:22 am on 30 July 2004

Vanuatu's new Prime Minister, Serge Vohor, is expected to make a national address later today outlining his Government's programme after his Union of Moderate Parties faction was sworn in to power.

Mr Vohor, who heads a six party coalition, defeated rivals Ham Lini of the National United Party and Edward Natapei's Vanuaaku Party.

Mr Natapei, the outgoing Prime Minister, called a snap election in May to stall a vote of no confidence spearheaded by Mr Vohor.

During Independence Day celebrations today Mr Vohor is expected to outline how he will confront the country's deficit - this is thought to include a request for more aid from Australia and New Zealand.

The coalition's also understood to be planning to review taxes and the monopoly control of some utilities.