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PNG’S ACTING PM ADMITS TO PARTY DIVISIONS Abal says Somare will smooth things over

By Simon Eroro

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 5, 2011) – The Acting Prime Minister and Member for Wabag Sam Abal has admitted there are cracks and divisions within the ruling National Alliance Party, especially within the NA Highlands and NA Southern region blocs.

Mr Abal said these were minor issues and with Sir Michael Somare’s return from holiday, which is expected to be next week, these differences will be put to rest. He also claimed that the Government was intact and there were no differences between the NA party and its coalition parties.

He said the Grand Chief has treated all leaders in government fairly.

Mr Abal also admitted that he had tried to get the NA Highlands bloc together to discuss their leadership issue but it was not possible due to timing issues and he had to defer the meeting to a later date.

However, the acting PM and Minister for Works said the people of Papua New Guinea must be proud of their country because other young countries have broken up under pressure — unlike PNG which has consolidated and grown over the last 35 years since independence.

Mr Abal said this is because of Sir Michael’s stamina and ability to keep the country together over 40 years as a politician.

"Sir Michael has been able to put together a unified nation and, with the political stability his government has enjoyed since 2002, put together development strategies for long term and medium term development plans."

Mr Abal said 2011 is the year of implementation and with the return of Sir Michael to Government from holidays, PNG will see developments rolling. He added that the media should stop gossiping about the Government.

"Government after government have been criticised for allowing plans in different sectors collecting dust and this government is seriously committed to give to the people what belongs to them before the 2012 National Elections," Mr Abal said.

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