12 Mar 2013

Amid rumours, Vanuatu minister says Kilman is safe as PM

6:54 pm on 12 March 2013

A minister in Vanuatu's coalition government of Sato Kilman says the cabinet remains loyal to the Prime Minister.

Despite having his parliamentary majority boosted by the defection of six opposition MPs during the last week, Mr Kilman says he is aware of rumours that a government backbencher is lobbying to become the prime minister.

The minister of ni-Vanuatu Business, Marcellino Pepite, says Mr Kilman's position is not under threat.

"We elected him again for the second time last November as Prime Minister And we are in the government so we are sticking with the same Prime Minister. When you are a government minister you have to be loyal to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is doing a good job."

While refusing to speculate on who the government backbencher vying for the top job might be, Marcellino Pepite says Vanuatu politics is full of would-be prime ministers.