Minister for planning and aid coordination, Steve Abana, himself a key cabinet minister in the C-NURA government, has opposed the 2009 Constituency Boundaries Commission report.

The report presents the case for an additional 17 constituencies according to a criterion of population, communication access and ethnic similarities.

Debate on a motion to table the report for parliament's consideration in committee stage started yesterday with only one Member of Parliament supporting the report.

Mr Abana, whose political party commands a good number of the current government, told parliament yesterday that while it may be a timely report for this parliament, the country's financial situation cannot cater for another 17 constituencies. "We are recovering from the effects of the Global Economic Crises, so it is only commonsense that this is not the time for the increase," said Mr Abana.

Another government MP who has voted against the 2009 Constituency Boundaries Commission report is tourism minister Seth Gukuna.

Gukuna described the report as nonsense and contradictory to itself. "The best thing for us to do is give the report back to the CBC for them to consider other issues and leave it to the next government."

Debate on the 2009 Constituency Boundaries Commission report is expected to continue today.