20 Jan 2004

Somare supporter says change of Government would bring PNG to its knees

5:16 pm on 20 January 2004

The leader of Papua New Guinea's People's Progressive Party, Paul Tiensten, is opposed to a possible no-confidence vote in the government because he says it would bring the country to its knees.

Mr Tiensten's comments come as the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, faces the prospect of a no-confidence vote this week.

The Somare government is racing to garner support with the two major parties, the PPP and the United Resources Party, split.

Mr Tiensten says the majority of his eight PPP members support the government with one MP neutral and two against.

He says a change of government at this time would be disastrous.

"A lot of gains, a lot of positive things that I believe are happening in the country right now......investor confidence is something that we need to manage, and I believe that once there's a change of government and there's another unknown person that the investors don't know, so confidence will drop. A lot of good policies that the government has already signed will also be stalled."