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Polye set to be nominated with no-confidence motion

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 6, 2011) – In Papua New Guinea, former Deputy Prime Minister and Abau Member of Parliament (MP) Sir Puka Temu is driving a wedge right through the middle of the Government ranks that may cause the downfall of Sir Michael Somare as Prime Minister (PM).

Sir Puka will nominate the man sacked by Sir Michael as Deputy Prime Minister, Don Polye to be the alternate Prime Minister in the looming no-confidence motion against the government.

Mr. Polye is the deputy leader of the ruling National Alliance for the Highlands region and member for Kandep Open. Mr. Polye was appointed Foreign Affairs and Immigrations Minister by Sir Michael, but to date, he has not taken up his portfolio.

And sources close to Mr. Polye told the Post-Courier last night that the Kandep MP could seriously consider the nomination as alternate Prime Minister to the affirmative. Mr. Polye could not be reached for his comments as he was believed to be on a government caucus boat cruise on the Port Moresby harbor yesterday.

However a check with the Office of the Prime Minister confirmed that Mr. Polye did not go on the cruise in the Port Moresby harbor.

The sources said Mr. Polye could not go as his political rivals, who included Acting PM Sam Abal and Enga Governor Peter Ipatas were on the trip. They said Mr. Polye was a "born leader who is mature and intelligent enough to lead the country into the new decade"

They said the support from another mature leader like Sir Puka has meant a lot to Mr. Polye and were a clear message for Papua New Guinea.

Sir Puka said his move was not against the government but against Sir Michael Somare a clear indication that he was prepared to work with the current government and with Don Polye as Prime Minister.

Sir Puka, who walked out of the current government while serving as Deputy PM and Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, said the Opposition was moving into camp within the next 48 hours to strategize before Parliament meets next week Tuesday.

The Parliament was set to meet on January 11, 2011, following a five men bench Supreme Court decision for Parliament to be recalled within 40 days to elect a new Governor General after finding the government’s choice Sir Paulias Matane’s election null and void.

"The magic number is 55 and it is common knowledge that the numbers are with the Highlands and if the Highlands Members of Parliament mobilize to support the Opposition with big numbers, they take our nominee, Sir Puka said yesterday. This has always been the tradition and his position was very clear, and we are hoping Mr. Polye makes the commitment now to support the Opposition’s move to oust Sir Michael Somare," Sir Puka said.

He said he had always maintained his position and will nominate Mr. Polye to lead this country into the 2012 National Elections when the notice of vote of no confidence is introduced on the floor of Parliament.

Asked what he thought about the Acting Speaker, Sir Puka said: "Mr. Marus is expected to run Parliament in a responsible manner but we are managing the process very well and that the motion has met all the technical requirements. The notice of vote of no confidence cannot be swept under the floor because it will be illegal to do so."

Sir Puka said the Opposition is ready to deliver the motion to the Acting Speaker and from legal advice we will deliver the notice to Acting Speaker any time before the sitting.

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