19 Jul 2010

PNG Speaker seen as critical to survival of Sir Michael Somare

8:11 pm on 19 July 2010

The position of the Speaker in Papua New Guinea Parliament is considered pivotal in the attempts to push the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, out of power.

A new parliamentary session resumes on Tuesday and the Post Courier newspaper reports people will be watching to see which way Speaker Jeffrey Nape leans.

He is a Chimbu MP and the paper says it would be a key development if he decides to switch his allegiance from Sir Michael to back the bloc of 16 MPs led by the Chimbu Governor Father John Garia.

That group wants a change in the leadership of the ruling National Alliance party, and eventually the Prime Ministership.

The most likely candidates to replace Sir Michael are Sir Puka Temu, the deputy Prime Minister or Transport Minister Don Polye.

Meanwhile the Opposition will be pushing for a vote of no confidence in the Government to be held.