18 Jul 2005

Vanuatu prime minister dumps two ministers over possible motion of no confidence

12:57 pm on 18 July 2005

The Vanuatu prime minister, Ham Lini, is believed to have dumped two ministers over the weekend, in part to avert a motion of no confidence in the government.

Maxime Carlot Korman has been replaced as the Minister of Infrastructure by the president of the Vanua'aku party, Edward Natapei.

And, Paul Telukluk's position as minister for lands was taken by Willie Jimmy in the reshuffle.

Our correspondent, Len Garae, says although there were concerns over Mr Telukluk's performance, the real reason was to shore up support within Mr Lini's National United Party.

"Willie Jimmy belongs to a faction within the National United party which is in the coalition government, and he was believed to be in a position to sign a motion of no confidence against the government. So, the prime minister had to give him that position to maintain stability within the coalition government."

Len Garae says the six party coalition is now firmer as a result of the moves.