21 Mar 2006

Vanuatu government withstands vote of no confidence

8:12 pm on 21 March 2006

The Vanuatu Prime Minister, Ham Lini, has withstood a vote of no confidence.

The opposition leader, Serge Vohor, had claimed he had enough support among government MPs to effect a change.

But Mr Lini retained enough backing in the 52-seat parliament.

It is the second failed vote of no confidence initiated by Mr Vohor since he was toppled as Prime Minister in 2004.

Meanwhile, a counter motion from the government, which aimed to exclude opposition MPs from Parliament for two sessions, was withdrawn after the government accepted it was unconstitutional.

The Government had put up the motion amid ongoing concerns at the frequency of what they see as destablising votes of no confidence.