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PNG Eleclects a Government

  1. 99 Posts.
    Today PNG elect a government and this should start the long awaited rebuild of a country which has suffered from so much turmoil, its going to be interesting to see which way it goes and I would think we will see some good movement on Oil Search.

    Sir Mekere steps down as PDM leader

    LAST-MINUTE tactics to influence the voting for a new government and prime minister are expected right up to 10am today when 103 MPs-elect file into Parliament.
    The major switch occurred yesterday afternoon when Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta announced he was stepping down as leader of the People’s Democratic Movement.
    He said under his leadership, the party had not been able to muster the numbers to form government.
    “Under me, that’s not possible,’’ a terse Sir Mekere told reporters.
    With 103 members eligible to vote, a simple majority of 52 will be enough to elect the new prime minister.
    The group that has been invited to form the government, the National Alliance-led cluster of parties and individuals, claims it has up to 70 votes in its camp, more than enough to elect Sir Michael Somare as the new prime minister . . . if the numbers are solid at 10am today.
    They are tipped to nominate controversial former prime minister Bill Skate for Speaker who is also believed to be eyeing the Provincial Affairs ministry.
    A Somare-led government would quickly appoint a nine-member caretaker cabinet, adjourn Parliament for three weeks and start planning for a tough supplementary budget.
    Sir Michael indicated at the weekend that the past government had overspent by hundreds of millions of kina and that “it’s going to be tough economic times’’.
    He indicated his government would try to fulfil the free education payments for the rest of this year and then review it. Other big spending plans of the Morauta Government up for review are the Yumi bridge project and the Gaming Control Board. Public service recruitment could be frozen.
    Sir Michael denied he would change the One-China policy, saying speculation that Taiwan would be recognised alongside Beijing were groundless. Foreigners who asked about it did so “because I happen to be a friend of the Taiwanese’’, he said
    A group of 11 independents were last night still adamant they will force the election of the prime minister to go into the second phase — blocking the first round when Sir Michael is to be put up as the candidate for prime minister.
    The independents led by governors Tim Neville (Milne Bay), Clement Nakmai (West New Britain) and Mal Kela Smith (Eastern Highlands) said they had a total of 11 independents and nine one-man party members in their camp and were still talking to various others MP-elects in both camps vying for the top position.
    “It’s a still a long night, there is plenty of talking and we may still go to the second choice of forming government,’’ Mr Neville said.
    On Prime Minister Sir Mekere resigning as leader of PDM yesterday, Mr Smith said; “Sir Mekere’s resignation was a surprise. I don’t think it was premeditated on our part. We didn’t know anything about it.’’
    Hundreds of police are expected to ring the Parliament grounds, inside and outside, to ensure the starting of the seventh Parliament is not disturbed.
    The Defence Force is on callout and can be brought in to help if the police see the need.
    Members of the public have been advised to stay away from Parliament today as only invited guests are to attend and witness the proceedings from the public gallery.
    Today’s proceedings are to be be broadcast on Karai radio and televised live on EMTV.


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