9 Jun 2009

Vanuatu Opposition brings motion of no confidence in Natapei Government

9:37 am on 9 June 2009

Vanuatu's Opposition has lodged a motion of no-confidence against the government of Edward Natapei over the decisions and policies made by the Trade Minister James Bule.

Mr Bule has been accused by the speaker of parliament, George Wells, of misusing 400,000 US dollars in copra subsidies last year.

Mr Wells has been dismissed from the National United Party which James Bule also belongs to for persisting with the allegations against the Minister.

However the speaker has taken at least two MPs with him from the government coalition partner, leaving NUP with just seven MPs.

The opposition MP Moana Carcasses says Mr Wells' bloc supports the opposition in its demand for Mr Bule's removal.

He says while it remains unclear how Mr Bule's office used the copra subsidies, the Minister's fluctuating policy on kava exporting has also caused huge losses for many small farmers.

"We have launched a motion against the Prime Minister - I am the mover of the motion. We are saying that the Prime Minister should have punished this person [Jame Bule]. It is bad for the country because it has caused many problems for the country at large."