PNG Government Confident It Will Defeat No-Confidence Motion

O’Neill team claims support of 80 MPs; Poyle, Somare, Chan push for defections

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 22, 2016) – Papua New Guinea will know by today, whether the country will have a new Prime Minister or not as the vote of no confidence is moved against incumbent Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill remains confident and with numbers to boast to defend his post while Opposition Leader and challenger Don Polye is banking on members crossing over to install him as new PM.

Mr O’Neill and team who have been camping in Alotau returned yesterday afternoon on an Air Niugini flight and were whisked away to Airways Hotel to spend the night.

The camp in Alotau is claiming 83 members while Opposition numbers have been steady at more than 20 members.

[PIR editor's note: On July 22, 2016 RNZI reported that 'A Papua New Guinea Treasury source has revealed that the government has ordered a payment of US$900,000 to each government MP at the so-called 'Alotau retreat'. ... The national broadcaster NBC reported the source, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the Finance Department was instructed to make payments ahead of tomorrow's vote of no-confidence in prime minister Peter O'Neill.']

Mr Polye has the backing of former prime ministers Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan and Sir Mekere Morauta. Sir Mekere is not a sitting MP.

Leader of Government business, Finance Minister James Marape confirmed last night that the government is intact and will go into Parliament as a team.

"We have more than 80 Members of Parliament who are taking the opportunity this week to plan for the final year of this Parliament, and stand strong in their support for Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister.

"The O’Neill-Dion Government team is united, and we all look forward to demonstrating our number in the Chamber today." Mr Marape said.

"The Government is confident we will outright defeat the court ordered vote of no confidence." When parliament resumes today, the vote of no-confidence is the only business for the day.

The Government MPs, who are now at Airways Hote,l will leave for Parliament as a team in a convoy of buses. They will enter Parliament through the golf club gate and straight into the chamber.

The Opposition MPs, who have been camping at the Laguna Hotel, will also be convoying as a group.

Like last week, thousands of people are expected to turn up in parliament to witness the vote and thousands of others throughout the country will tune in on their radio and televisions to witness the vote of no-confidence.

PNG Post-Courier
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