CALLS FOR PNG SPEAKER PUNDARI TO RESIGN

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 14, 1999 – The National/PACNEWS)---The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government has called on the Speaker of Parliament, John Pundari, to resign.

Pundari has confirmed that he has formed a new political party that may move a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Bill Skate when Parliament resumes in July.

Under PNG’s Westminster style of government, the Speaker is supposed to remain neutral and above party politics. Pundari’s leadership of the new group is seen as a breach of that convention.

Justice Minister Simon Kaumi said the Speaker should clarify what he means by "moving against the Government . . . If that is his intention, then he must resign."

Pundari said in Madang last week he had formed a political party that will play a major role in a change of Government.

He was accompanied by West Sepik Governor John Tekwie, Chimbu Governor Simeon Wai, Robert Sakias (Telefomin MP), Henry Smith (Goroka MP), Eddy Saweni (Aitape-Lumi MP) and Opis Papo (Langaip-Porgera MP).

These parliamentarians are believed to be behind Pundari’s new political party.

He told journalists, "This is part of the group and you are likely to see more of later."

The PNG National newspaper has speculated that the new party would be known as the PNG Liberal Party.

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