12 Aug 2004

Vanuatu opposition says two more MPs talking about defecting

4:19 pm on 12 August 2004

The deputy opposition leader in Vanuatu, Edward Natapei, says he is confident the opposition still has the numbers to force a motion of no-confidence in the government in the near future.

This is despite the Green MP, Arnold Prasad, who defected to the opposition last week, being re-sworn in as a government minister.

Mr Natapei, who is the previous prime minister, says two other government MPs are now talking to the opposition, with a view to joining its ranks.

Mr Natapei says the two new government MPs wish to join the opposition for a familiar reason.

"The same reasons that were given by the other members who were not satisfied with the sharing of portfolios in the government. It's the same exact reason that they are giving us."

Edward Natapei says the two original government MPs to defect, Thomas Nentu and Paul Telukluk, have assured him they will stay with the opposition.