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Party switchers already on the move to Belden Namah


Amkat MaiA SHIFT IN POLITICAL PARTY ALLEGIANCE by a regional candidate for West Sepik could throw the formation of a new Papua  New Guinea government into chaos.

Leading contender, Amkat Mai [pictured], has announced his decision to move even before the completion of the primary vote count and before the elimination process begins, also declaring himself as the new Governor of West Sepik Province.

Mr Mai has said he wants to switch from the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party led by Don Polye to Belden Namah’s PNG Party.

The most recent counting shops Mr Mai ahead of Simon Solo (National Alliance) by a healthy 6,000 votes in the 36 candidate field. Some 90,000 votes have been counted.

He has about 15% of the primary vote.

Registrar of political parties and candidates, Dr Alphonse Gelu, said there was no legal impediment stopping a candidate shifting party alliances.

"Despite being endorsed by a party but you want to shift alliances to another, em prerogative blo individual member nau,” said Dr Gelu.

“So that's the danger.... My office, we cannot do anything about this. We are powerless.

“Before that Supreme Court ruling, we can impose penalties but right now, we can't. Political candidate are not bound in any way to stick to a party."

The NBC says it is “reliably informed” that some winning candidates from other political parties will team up with Mr Namah and his PNG Party.

Source: National Broadcasting Corporation of PNG


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Joe Wasia

Congratulations Mr Mai! I know this man from back to front. He used to called me "one bush" as my Enga Province and WSP share same forest and land border.

I was with him for years during my time in university. He is open and kind to everyone.

I hope through this man the people of Sandaun will benefit. I thank the people of Sandaun for choosing this great man.

John Wali

Well, who would have thunk? Namah must have had good political information around party hopping before he declared himself for the top job even with the numbers that he has mustered so far.

If there is no stopping party hopping as per the Registrar of Political Parties then what stops Namah from buying off candidates? He just might become the Prime Minister. Scary but true.

Trevor Freestone.

The people voted for candidates who supported their cause to prevent the PNG Party from gaining power. They are aware of past behaviours and lack of development that have taken place under Namah.

For one to be elected by convincing their electorate they will fight for development and fight against corruption and then to join those responsible for past bad behaviours is outright treachery.

It is one thing to behave this way in isolated and sparsley populated areas, but do this in highly populated areas such as the highlands where he people are prepared to fight for their rights will end up in serious violence.

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