O’Neill declares . . .
New Govt in place
By ISAAC NICHOLAS (PNG Post Courier)
CARETAKER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill declared yesterday afternoon that a new government is now in place. This comes as three senior Highlands leaders – Don Polye, Anderson Agiru and Peter Ipatas – publically supported O’Neill’s bid to form government with his People’s National Congress party.
The three leaders were also backed by Our Development Party Leader Sir Puka Temu and two Independents – new Mendi MP De Kewanu and Wabag MP Robert Ganim.
Sir Puka congratulated Mr O’Neill saying the coalition partners had made a deal to go into the elections and return to form government.
“The people of Papua New Guinea have granted the mandate to PNC and very little politics must come into play,” Sir Puka said.
Mr O’Neill claims to have over 56 members – 22 from his PNC Party and the rest from recent coalition partners.
“We now have an overwhelming majority of more than 56 members,” Mr O’Neill said. “Now you have a government in place. The Parliament will be recalled seven days after the return of writs for a new government.”
Yesterday’s moves followed the historic occasion on Tuesday of three former Prime Ministers – including Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti – humbling themselves to back Mr O’Neill as Prime Minister. This they did as a remarkable show of leadership in the best interests of the country.
THE Party leader and Kandep MP Don Polye who had previously set his sights on the top job has now also joined hands with the PNC Party to form a new government.
“You realise that I put up my hands up to form government in the event that the current Prime Minister (Mr O’Neill) did not have the numbers to form government,” Mr Polye said.
“I was one of those who put their hands up and at this stage the election results shows that PNC Party was favored by the voters and they obviously have the numbers and under the laws will be invited to form government.”
Mr Polye said THE Party was a key player in the formation of the current government and gave its best shot in the elections, polling very well though the Party is only four months old.
“PNC Party has been given overwhelming mandate by the people to govern and instead of political power-play we have to put the interest of the country first,” said Mr Polye.
“I accept defeat. Although I advocated that I will form government… now we accept the fact that we do not have the numbers.”
Polye’s THE Party’s five MP’s-elect, including female member Dellilah Gore, left for Alotau yesterday to join the camp. Loujaya Toni, Lae Open’s female member-elect is already in camp.
The Peoples United Assembly with four MP’s-elect under Mr Agiru and Mr Ipatas’ two People’s Party members-elect will be traveling into Alotau today.
Other coalition members already in camp are National Alliance (5), People’s Progress Party (6), Social Democratic Party (2), People’s Democratic Movement (1), United Party (1), Indigenous People Party (1), Our Development Party (1), New Generation Party (1) and Independents (4).