VANUATU OPPOSTION WITHDRAWS ‘NO CONFIDENCE’

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Effort to oust prime minister fizzles

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Feb. 21, 2011) - Vanuatu’s opposition has withdrawn a motion of no-confidence in the government which had been due to be voted on today.

The government had 28 Members of Parliament while the opposition had only 15 in Parliament.

[PIR editor’s note: Previously, the Vanuatu Prime minister had reshuffled his cabinet in anticipation of the motion of no confidence. RNZI also reports that Prime Minister Sato Kilman wants to amend the National Constitution to prevent members of parliament from crossing the floor and changing political parties, which he says has resulted in a waste of public money. Last year, the government spent more than US$1 million paying politicians when Mr. Kilman’s government replaced that of the former Prime minister, Edward Natapei, and if parliament votes for the motion against Mr. Kilman, it’s expected that that the government will again spend the same amount in compensation.]

The opposition leader, Edward Natapei is reported to have blamed Cyclone Atu for stopping some of its members from attending parliament. But the Prime Minister, Sato Kilman, says the Government had the numbers to defeat the motion.

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