12 May 2007

Vanuatu's coalition government stands firm against members working with opposition

9:08 am on 12 May 2007

Vanuatu's coalition government is standing firm against any of its members working with the opposition at the municipal government level.

This follows the Prime Minister Ham Lini 's decision to dump the Agriculture minister Marcellino Pepite due to his involvement with the opposition in the recent Lugainville municipal elections.

The government spokesman Patrick Crowby says that Mr Pepite's involvement contravenes the coalition government agreement to work together at all levels of government.

"And if somebody disobeys what the executive of the coalition party has decided, they should know that they will receive disciplinary action. because we have an MOU signed together when we formed this government that we will work together on the national, provincial and municipal levels."

Patrick Crowby says Mr Pepite's party, the Vanuatu Republican Party, will have a chance to explain themselves to the government executive.

The Prime Minister is to convene a meeting of his coalition partners early next week to decide on a possible replacement for the agriculture minister.