More MPs have resigned from the party of Papua New Guinea's Prime minister Peter O'Neill.
The departure of five MPs from Mr O'Neill's party on Friday followed resignations earlier this month by two cabinet ministers.
Last night at least three more MPs were reported to have left the PNC.
These include the Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, and Okapa MP Saki Soloma.
Tari MP James Marape, a former top ally of Mr O'Neill who resigned as Finance Minister three weeks ago, has now confirmed he is also leaving the PNC.
In response Mr O'Neill said as far as he is concerned , Mr Marape had already gone when he quit as minister.
The opposition is planning for a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister next month.
Mr Marape said he would be preparing a formal resignation letter to give it to the General Secretary of the PNC during its caucas meeting.
He said he had stood down from the Finance Ministry due to his lack of confidence in the leadership of the prime minister, and that it would be a unfair of me to remain in Mr O'Neill's party.
The prime minister said Mr Marape's actions and activities were against party principles and interests.
"The Member will not be attending the next PNC Party Caucus meeting," Mr O'Neill said
Meanwhile West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou has denied reports he was joining the opposition, saying he is still with the ruling party.
Opposition hoping for more resignations
Papua New Guinea's Opposition said it is hopeful more MPs will resign from the ruling People's National Congress party.
Its leader, Patrick Pruaitch, said at this stage the opposition has 26 MPs in the 111-seat house.
But he said talks are ongoing with various other MPs in the coalition government.
Another opposition MP the PNG Party leader Belden Namah said the consultations are focussed on one aim, of removing Peter O'Neill from power.
He said that within the next couple of days, main groups of MPs should amalgamate.
When asked by local media who might be nominated to be the new prime minister, Mr Pruaitch said that was a step to be taken after the opposition first harnessed the numbers to remove Mr O'Neill.
Meanwhile, Mr O'Neill played down the significance of the resignations, saying he was confident of retaining a majority.