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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Port Vila Presse, Mar. 22) – The 11 political parties in power in Vanuatu have reason to be pleased with themselves after 100 days of government stability.

After last week's meeting of the Council of Ministers, the occasion was celebrated by those ministers attending and the cutting of a cake to mark the event.

The Prime Minister was not present, nor the Deputy Prime Minister on tour on Malekula.

Speaking to The Independent, Minister James Bule said that the public and politicians had believed the government would not last long because of the large number of parties cobbled together in the coalition.

However, Bule explained, the good communications between the parties in government and at the ministerial level will ensure that they remain together.

"When we were elected, it wasn't easy to speak of political stability, but as time went by, and we worked together, we managed to put in place during these one hundred days a system of consultation. That's to say, we talk – consult – before we take decisions so that what we do reflects the general interest," said Bule.

"In the beginning it was difficult to get what we wanted out of government, but now, through working together and representing all 11 different parties – even if the public and politicians had difficulty in accepting the arrangement – we are proud to note some progress in the economy," said the minister for commerce.

Bule added that the country had known times when the political parties were clearly working for their own personal interests, as well as for the interests of their supporters. "But with 11 parties in power, there was a need to be pro-active, to move, to consult and communicate and to manage public administration in a more responsible manner and in a spirit of cooperation."

For Prime Minister Lini these 100 days have proved that even with 11 parties in power, each with their own political characteristics, the government has been able to work together and direct themselves in such a manner as to find the answers to their problems and to work to serve the best interests of the population.

March 23, 2005

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