4 Jun 2007

Vanuatu minister says party swap backed by constituency subcommittees

3:08 pm on 4 June 2007

Vanuatu's Minister for Internal Affairs, George Wells, says his move to leave the Vanuaaku Pati is a collective decision by the area subcommittees from his Luganville constituency.

He says instability within the party caused by continued opposition to his position in the party, and him as Minister is behind his decision to join another government coalition partner, the National United Party, or NUP.

As a long-time VP member, Mr Wells says his hard work in helping the party grow has largely gone unrecognised, while the internal problems within the party are taking up too much of his time and energy.

"The main reasons behind the move is the instability inside the Vanuaaku Pati itself from its backbenchers. And if I am the main man behind the instability caused inside the VP, I think it's best for me to move out from the party and let the party sort out the problem itself."

George Wells' defection gives the NUP eleven MPs in the 52-seat house, while the VP drops to ten.