7 Apr 2010

Vanuaku Party in crisis as it elects two rival presidents

9:55 am on 7 April 2010

A leadership struggle within Vanuatu's ruling Vanuaku Party is expected to be decided in court.

This comes after two consecutive party congresses on Tongoa island over the past week chose two different leaders.

The first gathering chose an MP from Tanna, Harry Iauko, as the party president but the meeting was boycotted by the prime minister, Edward Natapei.

Mr Natapei then called another congress which confirmed him as a president.

Mr Iauko was suspended from the party last week but managed to attend the Congress at the last minute following the Supreme Court order.

Under the party's constitution, the president becomes the prime minister if the party is the government.