26 Jul 2007

Two rival groups in Papua New Guinea attempting to put together governing coalitions

1:37 pm on 26 July 2007

Political camps have been established in Lae and in Wewak in Papua New Guinea as two rival groupings try to put together governing coalitions.

54 of the 109 seats in the Parliament have now been declared with the Electoral Commissioner confident he can inform the Governor General tomorrow (Friday) which party has the greatest support.

Wewak is the base for Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare's National Alliance, the party that is seen as the most likely to succeed give it may take 20 to 25 seats on its own.

Sir Michael says they already have the backing of a number of independents.

Meanwhile, the Post Courier newspaper reports that five party leaders now in Lae have signed an agreement to work together.

They are Jamie Maxtone-Graham of the PNG Country Party, Tom Tomiape of the Rural Development Party, Dr Banare Bun of the Christian Democrats, Bart Philemon of the New Generation Party and former Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta's PNG Party.

They have suggested they can amass a coalition of 13 parties and independents to become the government.