1 Mar 2006

Vanuatu PM not concerned about opposition moves following re-shuffle

4:23 pm on 1 March 2006

The Vanuatu prime minister, Ham Lini, says he is not concerned about opposition moves against him following yesterday's cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Lini dropped the agriculture minister, Barak Sope, from the coalition government as well as the youth and sports development minister, Arnold Prasad.

The changes came amid disagreements over kava exports which prompted Mr Lini to curb the agriculture minister's powers.

He also says Mr Sope had as minister backed the opposition.

"The motion was seconded by the former minister of agriculture, Mr Sope. I had to remove him yesterday. That was a serious matter in a government to do that."

Ham Lini has appointed as replacements for the two ministers Dunstan Hilton and Marcellino Pipite.