6 Mar 2006

Support for coalition government in Vanuatu waivers over kava controversy

7:21 am on 6 March 2006

A coalition member in Vanuatu's government, Sela Molisa, says he will withdraw his support for the ruling administration if it doesn't change it's controversial new kava exporting policy.

A number of government backbenchers are said to be dissatisfied with the government's move last week to have the Commodities Marketing Board take over duties of exporting Kava and copra.

Mr Molisa believes the party of the Prime Minister, Ham Lini, is favouring its supporters in the allocation of kava exporting licenses.

"At the moment, I'd like the government to reconsider what they're doing. And if they don't change, then I'm afraid I cannot continue to support such a policy. We started the Comprehensive Reform Programme in 1998 to free up the markets, to deregulate, and now they're taking us backwards, creating monopolies."

Sela Molisa says his party, Vanua'aku Pati, one of the key coalition partners, has decided to take up the issue with cabinet.