7 Jun 2004

Vanuatu Prime Minister gearing up for rural election campaigning

7:23 am on 7 June 2004

The prime minister of Vanuatu is gearing up for campaign work in rural areas.

Several splits have appeared in the parties which form the ruling coalition, and Edward Natapei has been trying to unify his own Vanuaaku Pati.

There have also been calls for the opposition to unite in order to gain the upper hand in elections set for July the Sixth.

The prime minister's spokesman, Daniel Bangtor, says all politicians are now setting their sights on getting rural votes.

"Preparations are going on well and other parties, as well as the Vanuaaku Pati, are geared up in their preparation, and in fact, the electoral office has already declared that the campaign activities can now proceed, so it won't be long before people start going out into the rural areas for campaign activities."

Daniel Bangtor says MPs in the Vanuaaku party who wanted to vote against their leader have been sacked or have resigned.