13 Nov 2018

Vanuatu Leaders Party non-committal in support for Salwai

11:22 am on 13 November 2018

A former minister ousted from Vanuatu's government is refusing to rule out voting with the opposition should a motion against the government arise.

Vanuatu parliament building in the capital Port Vila.

Vanuatu parliament building in the capital Port Vila. Photo: RNZI/ Walter Zweifel

Matai Seremaiah and Jotham Napat, who are members of the Leaders Party, were sacked last week, apparently because of disgruntlement at their growing strength within the coalition.

That sparked speculation that another motion to oust the government could be looming, and the Leaders Party's votes could give the opposition the numbers needed.

Mr Seremaiah said the party was committed to the government's stability, but it can't make any promises now its members have been fired.

"We signed an MOU at the beginning and we gave the number believing that that was the coalition that could provide the stability that the people want. And we've made that commitment and we stuck to it until the day that they terminated us from government."

Matai Seremiah said the party's membership will ultimately make any decision.

When he swore in three new ministers on Saturday, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said he was safe with the support of 35 members of the 52-seat parliament.

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