12 Feb 2011

Three Vanuatu govt MPs resign leading to a minority govt

10:04 am on 12 February 2011

Three Vanuatu government ministers from the coalition government of prime minister, Sato Kilman have resigned.

The minister of public utilities and infrastructures, Serge Vohor, the minister of Education Charlot Salwai, the minister of Agriculture, Marcelino Pepite, all resigned yesterday.

Mr Vohor is the president of the UMP and Mr Salwai is the vice president.

Mr Pepite is the secretary general of the VRP, the party to which the speaker of Parliament, Maxime Carlot Korman belongs.

The three say they resigned over Mr Kilman's lack of commitment to allocate to their parties additional government portfolios.

Mr Kilman invited Mr Vohor's UMP into the government last December to re-enforce his government following the threat of a no confidence motion by the opposition.

The UMP MPs were also signatories to the motion, but later withdrew their signatures when invited by Mr Kilman to joint his coalition government.

The VRP was already with Mr Kilman when he took as prime minister Edward Natapei.

The former prime minister was ousted last December.

Meanwhile, the secretary general of the UMP says a motion of no confidence against Mr Kilman was presented to Parliament yesterday.

The 29 MPs who signed it also requested an extra-ordinary session of parliament to take place in 7 days to debate the motion.

The current opposition headed by Edward Natapei now claim they have the support of a clear majority of 34 MPs in the 52 seat parliament.