13 Aug 2004

Vanuatu government says presidential candidate support means dumping no-confidence vote

7:15 am on 13 August 2004

The Vanuatu government says it may well delay today's presidential election, if the opposition doesn't drop its proposed motion of no-confidence.

The two sides met yesterday to thrash out a mutual candidate ahead of the formal election process scheduled for today.

The opposition deputy leader, Edward Natapei, says he's determined to go ahead with a court case which, he hopes, will pave the way to the motion.

Mr Natapei says the opposition would like to receive government approval for one of eight presidential candidates from the central Mulumba province.

But a government spokesperson, Kal Moli, says if the opposition wants the government to be amenable, it'll have to drop its legal action to force a no-confidence motion.

"Prime minister is going into the meeting, open-minded, on the basis that 'OK, we can back your candidate on the basis that you can give me some sense of guarantee that there will be stability.'"