20 Aug 2004

Vanuatu's NUP explains switch to government side

1:42 pm on 20 August 2004

The secretary general of Vanuatu's National United Party, Willie Jimmy, says the party has joined the government after winning support for its candidate for President, Kalkot Mataskelekele.

The move is seen as stabilizing a Government that has been fragile since the six party coalition assumed power late last month.

Mr Mataskelekele, a member of the NUP, was elected President earlier this week.

And Mr Jimmy says his party of 11 MPs promised to help bring stability to the Government if the coalition backed Mr Mataskelekele.

"And when I negotiated the conditions that the government side has to support our groups I made it clear that if they helped us put the President we will secure the Government - we will have to stablize the Government."

Willie Jimmy