O’NEILL, NAMAH PARTIES JOIN FORCES FOR PNG ELECTIONS

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O’NEILL, NAMAH PARTIES JOIN FORCES FOR PNG ELECTIONS Deputy PM throws support, money behind O’Neill

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 5, 2012) – The PNG Party will fight the general election with the People’s National Congress Party, it has been revealed.

It means PNG Party leader Belden Namah will join forces with PNC Party leader Peter O’Neill in a bid to form the next government.

Namah told the PNC Party’s national convention in Goroka last Friday about the political marriage.

And to prove it was not fake, he gave O’Neill’s party K250,000 [US$119,000] to help its election operation.

Namah was accompanied by party founder Sir Mekere Morauta and deputies Jamie Maxtone-Graham and Sam Basil.

O’Neill assured Namah and his colleagues that they would spend the money wisely to ensure they were returned to parliament.

Namah said apart from O’Neill, the PNC also had its former leader Sir Bill Skate as prime minister.

[PIR editor’s note: The PNG Post Courier reported that four MPs from former Prime Minister Somare’s camp have joined forces with Deputy PM Naman’s PNG Party. "The four MPs are Mendi MP Isaac Joseph; Francis Potape, a former senior minister in the Somare -Abal Government and MP for Komo Magarima; James Lagea (Kagua Erave) and Nipa Kutubu MP Philemon Embel who was also sports minister in the Somare -Abal Government."]

He believed that it was important to continue with this government after the election to fight corruption and instill good governance.

"The deterioration of services in rural areas is evidence of bad governance over the past nine years.

"We decided that PNG needs a new generation of leaders," he said.

O’Neill also announced the appointment of Prof David Kavanamur as the new director of the Office of Higher Education.

Outgoing president of PNC Mary Karo said all their candidates must have a five-year development plan for their electorates.

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