9 Dec 2008

Vanuatu opposition withdraws motion against Natapei government

8:21 pm on 9 December 2008

Vanuatu's Prime Minister Edward Natapei has survived the last session of the parliamentary year without losing his job after the opposition withdrew a motion of no-confidence in his government before Tuesday's special sitting.

It was the fourth attempted vote of no confidence in the Natapei Government since it came to power in September.

The special parliamentary sitting was ordered by the Vanuatu Supreme Court after the Opposition had challenged the refusal of the Speaker to accept their motion for a no confidence vote last week shortly before the regular session was due to end.

Mr Natapei's coalition narrowly defeated a challenge two weeks ago.

His first political advisor Nikenike Vurobaravu says the opposition withdrew the motion because it was clear they didn't have the numbers to support it.

"You see because it only needs nine to lodge a request (for a motion) but today they needed 51 percent (of MPs) to sign a motion which is 27. They don't have 27. Government has 34 and the opposition has 18."

Nikenike Vurobaravu