25 Sep 2008

Vanuatu opposition lodges no confidence motion in new prime minister

10:33 am on 25 September 2008

The new opposition in Vanuatu has lodged a motion of no confidence in the newly elected prime miniser, Edward Natapei.

Mr Natapei was elected prime minister three days ago after heavy lobbying among political parties over the formation of the new government.

He defeated Maxime Carlot Korman by 27 votes to 25.

Our Vanuatu correspondent, Len Garae, reports.

"Just when the country is looking forward to seeing the new government go to work, the other side of the house and that's the opposition has lodged a motion of no confidence in the newly elected prime minister yesterday afternoon in parliament. That reflects discontent by at least two of the government side who feel that they also should have been given portofolios. That's where the problem lies. Those who come from the outer islands, some of them have not been given any portofolios, like Tafea outer islands as well as province in the North of the country."

Reports from Port Vila say two independents from the southern island of Tanna have now switched loyalties to Mr Korman.