22 Mar 2006

Vanuatu opposition claims moral victory despite losing no-confidence motion

4:10 pm on 22 March 2006

Vanuatu's opposition has claimed a moral victory over the government despite being defeated in a vote over its motion of no-confidence in Ham Lini's administration yesterday.

It's the second failed vote of no confidence initiated by opposition leader Serge Vohor since he was toppled as Prime Minister in 2004 after trying to set up diplomatic ties with Taiwan against the wishes of his cabinet.

Before yesterday's vote, Mr Vohor claimed he had enough support among disgruntled government MPs to effect a change, but Mr Lini retained the backing of 30 members to the opposition's 20.

But Mr Vohor's advisor Kal Moli says all the same the government cannot claim a victory.

"15 MPs from the government who were bulked behind the motion of no-confidence decided at the last minute to move back. And we respect that however, we feel that the damage that we have imposed on the current government is beyond repair whereby we will see either another reshuffle or we will see the Prime Minister will start to become friendly with the blocs currently in the opposition."

Kal Moli