15 Jul 2010

Reports from PNG that Sir Michael Somare's political party has split

5:54 pm on 15 July 2010

The main party in the Papua New Guinea coalition government, the National Alliance, is reported to have split.

The Post Courier newspaper says that the Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Puka Temu and a former deputy, Don Polye, are breaking away from Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's party to try and form a new government.

The paper says the two leaders, who head factions from the south and the highlands, have the support of 22 MPs.

It reports the plan is set to go ahead and would thwart any moves by the Prime Minister to cling to power.

The paper says there are concerns Sir Michael could use long adjournments of Parliament to forestall any votes of no confidence.

The developments follow a week of frantic activity since a court ruling last week that parts of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, which stopped MPs switching their party allegiances, was unconstitutional.