6 Aug 2007

National Alliance success not deterring another possible coalition administration in PNG

7:38 pm on 6 August 2007

One of the veteran Papua New Guinea politicians building a coalition to try and become government concedes that Sir Michael Somare's National Alliance is strongly placed but says they are not giving up hope.

Sir Michael has been invited to try and form a new government and our correspondent, Alex Rheeney, says the NA has commitments from 60 of the 109 so far, with more expected.

The former Treasurer, Bart Philemon, along with former prime ministers Sir Mekere Morauta and Sir Julius Chan, has been trying to build a rival coalition from 13 minor parties.

He concedes that the NA has a head start but says that PNG politics is unpredictable and they will continue to negotiate with the various parties until the new Parliament meets next Monday.

"The side that I am with are sitting down and working out a strategy [for] what way we can entice, even though they have indicated - the smaller parties have indicated - their support for National Alliance, we are still not giving up yet. We are still trying to entice them through the offering of ministries, so we will continue to do so until the last day."