21 Oct 2005

Vanuatu lands minister and PM to work together to keep party from splitting

3:39 pm on 21 October 2005

The Vanuatu minister for lands, Willie Jimmy, says he and the Prime Minister Ham Lini have agreed to work together to keep their party, the National United Party, from splitting.

Mr Jimmy had voiced concerns that Mr Lini's re-election over him as NUP president at the party's annual congress last week did not follow proper procedure.

He said when the party's national co-ordinator was suspended, the replacement, Mr Lini's nephew, cut the numbers of eligible voters, while Mr Jimmy's supporters didn't take part in the vote.

But Mr Jimmy says he and Mr Lini have met since the congress, and he has accepted the result of the congress.

"We reaffirmed our commitment that we will not work apart from eachother, or we will not act in any way that we will split the party. We will work to reunite the party. He assured me that he maintains me as the vice-president of the party and he assured me that he will not reshuffle me out of the cabinet."

Willie Jimmy