26 Aug 2004

No-confidence motion falters in Vanuatu

8:32 pm on 26 August 2004

Political reporters in Vanuatu say a motion of no-confidence in the Vanuatu government finally died on Thusday after it was withdrawn in the first few minutes of a special parliamentary session called to debate it.

The session was ordered to be held by the Vanuatu Supreme Court after the opposition accused the Speaker of avoiding them so he could not physically accept their request for the sitting.

The original no-confidence motion was proposed by the then opposition leader, Ham Lini, and seconded by his deputy, Edward Natapei.

But since then, Mr Lini and ten of his colleagues have joined the government and it's reported the motion cannot now go ahead because its original proposer is now the deputy prime minister.

Opposition leaders reportedly spent the afternoon with legal advisors and a spokesperson says they will take the Speaker back to court, but political analysts say this is a faint hope.