1 Jul 2004

PNG government dismisses opposition enthusiasm for no-confidence vote

12:34 pm on 1 July 2004

The Papua New Guinea government has dismissed the opposition's enthusiasm to give notice on the motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

The Post Courier newspaper says the opposition camp is in disarray after caucus chose an independent MP and Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti as the alternate prime minister.

The People's National Congress, which has 13 MPs, felt reportedly short-changed by the oversight of either National Capital District MP Bill Skate or Opposition Leader Peter O'Neill for the top job.

Late yesterday, the opposition was meeting to consider a second chance offer of the alternate prime ministership to Moses Maladina.

This was contrary to Mr Maladina's comment that he intended to stay with the Government until 2007.

Government-aligned MPs and officials say the opposition doesn't have the numbers and its strategy to persuade Government MPs to abstain will fail.