28 Jul 2009

Move to topple PNG PM engineered by disgruntled government members

9:23 pm on 28 July 2009

Lobbying is expected to continue among Papua New Guinea's members of parliament overnight as the opposition looks to table a motion of no-confidence in the government of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

The Sir Mekere Morauta-led opposition has told local media that it has the support of 58 members in the 109-seat parliament, following secret talks with government backbenchers in Goroka at the weekend.

Our correspondent Oseah Philemon reports.

"What we are hearing is that many government members are very dissatisfied with the way the government is running the country, dissatisfied with Sir Michael Somare's leadership. They feel that he is not providing the leadership that the country needs, and (that) it's time for him to go; also that the government has promised its own members and the parties within the coalition all kinds of things but they have not delivered on those promises. So it's a situation that is engineered by government ranks - the opposition could not do much because it only has 21 members. And I believe this is the first serious attempt by the opposition to topple Sir Michael Somare."

The motion could be tabled later in the week if Sir Mekere Morauta is certain he has majority support.