7 Jan 2010

NA chapter in PNG's East New Britain sacks Tiensten

6:38 pm on 7 January 2010

A local chapter of Papua New Guinea's ruling National Alliance Party has taken the unprecedented step of sacking a government minister as its member.

Paul Tiensten, who is the national planning minister and leader of government business, says he has just returned from Australia to news that the East New Britain branch has expelled him.

Mr Tiensten has told the newspaper, The National, that no reason was given for the move, saying he is shocked and will be seeking legal advice because he feels he has been denied natural justice.

He says his removal has been orchestrated by a few power hungry individuals.

The president of the party branch has issued a statement, saying the expulsion was a unanimous decision that also calls on the prime minister not to allocate him any more portfolios.

East New Britain has been widely considered a stronghold of the National Alliance.