8 Jun 2009

Vanuatu's NUP leader expels parliamentary speaker from party

8:51 am on 8 June 2009

The president of the National United Party in Vanuatu, Ham Lini, has expelled the speaker of parliament, George Wells, from the party and asked him to resign as speaker.

This follows a demand by Mr Wells that Mr Lini, who is the deputy prime minister, punish the trade minister for the alleged misuse of 400,000 US dollars in copra subsidies last year.

But in his letter of dismissal to Mr Wells, Mr Lini accused him and others of plotting against the government claiming they are trying to set up an alternative administration.

Mr Wells has rejected the letter, saying only the party congress has the power to dismiss them.

He also accused Mr Lini of defending the very people who he claimed have been corrupting the party.