PNG opposition loses new MP to government

5:03 pm on 7 September 2017

Papua New Guinea's opposition has lost an MP to the government, shedding new light on an apparent kidnap attempt in late July.

Papua New Guinea parliament facade.

Papua New Guinea parliament facade. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The new Ijivitari MP Richard Masere stood in the recent election as a National Alliance candidate.

During the subsequent period of lobbying over the formation of government, the Alliance accused a losing candidate from Ijivitari, David Arore of the People's National Congress party, of trying to manhandle Mr Masere away from his party at Port Moresby's airport.

Unsuccessful on that occasion, Mr Arore said he was responding to Mr Masere's request for an escort as the new MP arrived in the capital ahead of parliament.

But it appears Mr Masere was destined to defect, as he now confirms he has joined the PNC, whose leader Peter O'Neill was re-elected as prime minister.

He told local media that political agendas and personal integrity are the 'last things' on his mind, indicating he joined the government coalition in order to better access public funds for his district.

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