PNG arm wrestle as both sides claim numbers
29 July 2009
The Somare Government’s “days are numbered and they are finding every excuse and obstacle to delay the inevitable”, PNG Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta has said.
“MPs – mostly from the Government ranks - are in open revolt. We have had enough of the Somare and the National Alliance regime and want out where we can represent our people without domination or intimidation,” he told the PNG Post-Courier.
“The honourable thing for them to do is stand aside. But whatever happens they must face our band and dance to the music we play for them.”
politicking in Port Moresby
It is not clear when the vote will be taken but it has been affirmed that Speaker Jeffery Nape was handed the required notice by Sir Mekere and MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham.
After adjourning Parliament because of a lack of quorum and at first denying that notice had been given, Mr Nape later retracted that statement and confirmed the two leaders had served the notice by in his office.
It could take up to seven days before the no-confidence motion is voted on, and it promises to be a tense time in PNG politics as Government and Opposition struggle to secure the numbers.
The National Alliance Government led by Sir Michael Somare is confident it will survive the vote. At a press conference yesterday afternoon the Government paraded 57 MPs, a majority, to show it maintained the loyalty of the majority of members.
”I call on the opposition to officially surrender on the floor of Parliament,” Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, a strong supporter of Sir Michael, said.
According to the Post-Courier, the Morauta group has 43 MPs and expects more government MPs to join it in the coming days to bring the number up to 58.
Source: ‘Government confident of win’ by Gorethy Kenneth, PNG Post-Courier, 29 July 2009
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