28 Aug 2004

Vanuatu opposition seeking motion of no confidence

7:34 am on 28 August 2004

The deputy leader of the Vanuatu opposition says he hopes the Supreme Court can establish that a motion of no-confidence in the government can be debated in parliament.

On Thursday the motion had to be withdrawn, because the original proposer, Ham Lini, who was then opposition leader, joined the government.

The government also says it now has the numbers to defeat the motion.

The deputy opposition leader Edward Natapei says when the opposition had the numbers to get the Speaker to hold the debate session, he deliberately avoided them in order to prevent them handing a written request to him for the session to take place.

"To request an extraordinary sitting of parliament you need 27 members. For a motion of no-confidence you only need one-sixth of the members to sign the motion of no-confidence. In this case, there were 27 members who requested the extraordinary sitting and there were 27 members who signed the motion."

Mr Natapei says although Ham Lini then took 10 of his colleagues with him to the government benches, a few have signalled they will vote with the opposition.