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Opposition joins government in cabinet reshuffle

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 17, 2009) – The Vanuatu Prime Minister, Edward Natapei, has dumped half his Cabinet and brought the opposition alliance into his Government to stall an expected motion of no confidence.

He has ended his coalition government’s links with the National United Party and the Vanuatu Republican Party.

This means that the NUP’s Ham Lini has been replaced as Deputy Prime Minister, by the leader of the 16 member Alliance block, Sato Kilman.

The VRP’s Maxime Carlot Korman is set to be replaced as Speaker by George Wells in a parliamentary vote next week.

Under the new coalition arrangement, Mr Kilman also becomes the Minister of External Trade, Moana Carcasses Kalosil is the new Internal Affairs Minister and the Lands Minister is Paul Telukluk.

In other changes Steven Kalsakau takes over Agriculture, Pakoa Kaltonga becomes Minister of Justice, the Minister of ni-Vanuatu Business is Dunstun Hilton and the new Minister of Youth and Sport is Raphael Worwor.

The outgoing Lands Minister, Harry Iauko, a member of Mr Natapei’s own Vanuaaku Pati, was removed amid allegations of corruption over land sales.

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