20 May 2010

Renegade Vanua'aku Pati MP sides with Vanuatu opposition

6:32 pm on 20 May 2010

A Vanuatu MP who claims to be the president of the political party which leads the government coalition has been appointed the deputy leader of the opposition.

Harry Iauko maintains he was elected as the president of the Vanua'aku Pati after the annual congress of the country's oldest and biggest political party early last month.

The controversial Tanna MP, who had been suspended from the party twice for attempts at the leadership, claims he was elected leader at the Congress by the party's executive.

But the Prime Minister Edward Natapei is also claiming the VP presidency, saying Mr Iauko was not at the official congress, and has taken the matter to court.

While the court is yet to rule on who is the legal President, Mr Iauko has said he has waited long enough and has decided to pledge allegiance to the opposition.