O’Neill’s Australian citizenship saga: who isn’t telling truth?
Analysis of economic statistics reveals a shocking truth

O’Neill poised for ousting as Duma’s URP defects to opposition

William Duma is welcomed into the opposition,  probably signalling the end of Peter O'Neill's rule (EMTV News)

NEWS DESK | Pacific Media Centre | EMTV

AUCKLAND - The biggest coalition partner in prime minister Peter O’Neill’s coalition government has defected to the opposition in the most dramatic shift in numbers in Papua New Guinea’s power struggle.

United Resources Party (URP leader and state enterprises minister William Duma arrived at the Opposition’s Laguna camp early yesterday afternoon following days of intense negotiations behind the scenes.

Duma brought with him 11 MPs to the opposition. They included higher education minister Pila Niningi and police minister Jelta Wong.

Duma immediately held a news conference in which he expressed his reasons for leaving the government. Chief among them was the controversial loan with the Swiss bank UBS.

“I have never come out publicly. But I can say that I was one of those that opposed the UBS deal,” he said.

“My colleagues, Don Polye and Kerenga Kua, we were terminated for speaking out. We were not terminated for incompetence,” he said.

“I forgave our prime minister and I served him. But I have come to a point where I cannot serve this prime minister any more.

“It is in the best interest of the people who we represent that we join the opposition and call for a change in government.”

About half an hour before William Duma’s arrival, commerce and trade minister Wera Mori also arrived at the opposition camp where he was welcomed by opposition MPs.

The Post-Courier newspaper reports that the opposition camp is now understood to have 62 MPs with 56 MPs needed to form a majority in the 111-seat parliament.

Parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.

EMTV News stories are republished with permission


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)