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PNG government in show of strength

Tuesday 10 February 2015 | Published in Regional


PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea government’s numerical strength was on show this week when 65 members of the ruling Peoples National Congress (PNC) held a party caucus in a Port Moresby hotel.

In a bid to snuff out any attempts by the opposition to claim numbers before parliament sat yesterday in the first session of the year, senior party member and Moresby Northwest MP Michael Malabag said the opposition leader’s announcement to move a vote of no-confidence was just another political tactic by Don Polye to create anxiety among leaders.

“If he has the numbers, do it on the floor of parliament – not in the media,” he told the Post-Courier.

He said the party was standing solidly behind Prime Minister O’Neill despite a claim by Polye on Monday that he had the numbers to move a motion for a vote of no-confidence.

“Did he give the names of the MPs in his claim, if not then it’s just wishful thinking,” Malabag said. The PNC members expressed confidence that the government and its coalition members were all intact.

Polye, in an interview with the Post-Courier, said he had the numbers to make a move on the floor of parliament and invited former prime ministers and government members to support him.

“I have the numbers, 21 members, to sign a notice of motion of no confidence. That number is growing,” Polye said.

“I do have enough numbers to make a move. But I will have to get blessing from the former prime minister Sir Michael Somare. I have to get blessing from another pioneer prime minister Sir Julius Chan, and other former prime minister like Paias Wingti,” he said.

“I have the numbers and I am prepared to move a motion on the floor of parliament.

“I stand ready and call on other members to think the reality of economic management. It is riddle with no sound management.”