15 Dec 2006

Vanuatu opposition shelves no-confidence motion

1:22 pm on 15 December 2006

The opposition in Vanuatu has withdrawn a motion of no-confidence which was due to have gone before parliament today.

Deputy opposition leader Moana Carcasses says they did not have sufficient support to vote out the government of Ham Lini.

But he says the no-confidence attempt, which would have been the third this year, demonstrates the health of Vanuatu's democracy.

"This morning we went into parliament and the leader of the opposition decided to withdraw the motion because we didn't have the numbers, in effect, to pass the motion. Although we have withdrawn [it], that's a sign of the democracy in Vanuatu."

Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Ham Lini, says he is growing tired of opposition leaders' repeated attempts to unseat his government.

It is a waste of the government's money. Parliamentary business was finished by last Friday and we've had to wait another week in order to debate the motion today, and this is an extra cost to the government. A lot of people seem to think that a lot of these motions are a waste of time.

Earlier this week, the opposition had said it was confident of rallying support against the government because of its unpopular kava export policy.