12 Dec 2006

Vanuatu government confident motion will fail

3:54 pm on 12 December 2006

The Vanuatu government is adamant it has the numbers to withstand a motion of no-confidence in Prime Minister Ham Lini lodged by the opposition.

The motion, which is the third launched by opposition MPs this year, will be debated in the 52-seat parliament on Friday.

But our correspondent in Vanuatu, Len Garae, says the opposition is again confident of rallying support against the government over its unpopular kava exporting policy.

"They will have to continue to lobby for enough people to pass the motion. They haven't said how many more they need now. They keep saying that they will pull it through, but at the moment the government is adamant, they have thirty four and they still have the majority. So it depends on how they are going to lobby. But I think the opposition has tried in recent times to topple the Ham Lini regime and so far they have not been successful."

Len Garae