19 Oct 2004

Vanuatu leaders ponder constitutional amendments

2:30 pm on 19 October 2004

The opposition in Vanuatu is meeting to discuss its position on the government's proposal to amend the constitution aimed at preventing political instability.

The opposition leader, Sato Kilman, said yesterday they were opposed to the changes which would provide a new government with a long grace period, and prevent party hopping.

But, the deputy opposition leader, Edward Natapei, says they are currently debating what stance to take in parliament's extra-ordinary session this afternoon when a vote on the amendments is expected.

He says Mr Kilman will be meeting the prime minister, Serge Vohor, shortly, and he may ask him to withdraw the amendments.

And, Mr Natapei says there is a possibility that the opposition will request an adjournment of parliament so further discussions can be held.