20 Jul 2010

PNG Parliament to meet shortly amid push for change in Government

3:40 pm on 20 July 2010

It will be at least a week before any vote of no confidence into the Papua New Guinea Government can be held.

Following the defection last night of four Ministers from the Government of Sir Michael Somare the Opposition is expected to try and lodge a motion of no confidence when Parliament resumes this afternoon.

Last night, the then Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Puka Temu, along with Forestry Minister Beldan Namah, Culture Minister Charles Abel and Attorney-General Ano Pala, publicly announced they were joining the Opposition.

Mr Namah is reported in PNG's National newspaper as describing the tense political rumblings as an all-out war.

The Opposition says it has at least 54 of the 109 MPs on its side willing to topple the Government, but the Government is also claiming it has enough membersto defeat a vote.

A vote of no confidence cannot be held until a week after the motion is tabled.

The position taken by the Speaker, Jeffery Nape, will be critical.

Mr Nape is a member of the National Alliance, and there predictions he may not allow a vote of no confidence to be moved or may accept an adjournment of Parliament to neutralise attempts to overthrow the Government.