3 Mar 2006

Vanuatu government confident of surviving censure motion

9:22 am on 3 March 2006

A senior Vanuatu cabinet minister, Edward Natapei, says the government has the numbers to withstand the opposition's planned motion of no-confidence.

The opposition plans to table the motion within days after the Prime Minister dumped the agriculture minister, Barak Sope, this week.

Mr Sope says a number of government backbenchers are dissatisfied with the government's kava policy and are willing to back the motion.

Meanwhile, as president of the Vanua'aku Pati, Mr Natapei says they've discussed the issue of one of its members, Sela Molisa, having recent negotiations with the opposition and the MP has now agreed to stay with the party in its commitment to the government.

Mr Natapei says the government still has a bloc of support from its main coalition partners to rely on...

"...so if you put together the National United Party, the Vanua'aku Pati, the People's Progressive Party and the Vanuatu Republican Party, you have the numbers for the government to easily defeat any motion."