8 Apr 2010

Vanuatu MP claiming leadership of main party not chasing Prime Ministership

8:01 pm on 8 April 2010

The man claiming to be the President of Vanuatu's largest political party, the Vanua'aku Pati, says he doesn't automatically expect to also be Prime Minister.

Tanna MP, Harry Iauko, says he has been elected to lead the VP following what he calls the official party congress on Tongoa last week.

Party members held two congresses to elect a president, with one choosing the incumbent, the Prime Minister Edward Natapei, and the other Mr Iauko.

Mr Natapei is seeking a court order to stop Mr Iauko from using the name of the VP.

Meanwhile, Mr Iauko is open-minded about the provision that the leader of the coalition government's largest party usually takes up the role of Prime Minister.

"I can be the Prime Minister but it depends on the situation - if I have the number. If the coalition arrangement that we engage in and some leaders think that they can do it, then I'm prepared to step aside so somebody can lead the government. My intention is firstly to put my party correct."

Harry Iauko