2 Oct 2008

Vanuatu government tries to balance portfolio allocations to provinces

4:46 pm on 2 October 2008

Vanuatu's government says a cabinet reshuffle gives more balance to the allocation of portfolios along provincial lines.

The new government of Edward Natapei is tomorrow due to face a parliamentary motion of no-confidence put forward by the opposition and signed by two defecting government MPs.

However Mr Natapei has enticed the Union of Moderate Parties out of opposition with three cabinet portfolios.

Now, from the UMP, Serge Vohor is the Minister of Public Utilities, Charlod Saluwai the new Education minister, while Rafael Vorvor takes over the Lands Ministry.

The Prime Minister's first political advisor, Nikenike Vurobaravu, says that the reshuffle addresses MPs' concerns that with 6 portfolios, Shefa province had too many ministries.

"Vohor is from Sanma, Vorvor is from Malampa and Saluwai is from Penama. The issue about too many Shefa people is relative to complainst from Tafea that they've got a lot of... 6 MPs and they haven't been allocated enough portfolios. It's been addressed. Two portfolios have been given to Tanna (Tafea) and three of the former ministers from Shefa have graciously stood down."

Nikenike Vurobaravu.