12 Aug 2004

Vanuatu MP bounces back into government

10:10 am on 12 August 2004

A Vanuatu government MP who resigned last week is being sworn in again as a Minister.

Arnold Prasad was one of three MPs who jumped ship in the government's first week of office, giving the six-party coalition government of Serge Vohor only 25 seats, and the opposition 27.

The leader of the opposition, Ham Lini, says that although they have lost a seat, he is confident his motion of no confidence, triggered by the defections, will be heard.

He says that they've been unable to pin down the Speaker to file a request for a special parliamentary sitting to debate the motion.

But he says lawyers for the party and the Speaker have agreed the matter should be discussed before a court on Saturday.

"They all agreed to have a case hearing to see how serious the case is, and maybe the court can ask the speaker to call a"

parliament sitting.

Mr Lini says that he is in close contact with Thomas Nentu and Paul Telukluk, who defected to the opposition benches reportedly because the porfolios they'd been promised by Serge Vohor were no longer on offer.