More resignations from Papua New Guinea govt

5:32 pm on 24 May 2019

Another batch of Papua New Guinea MPs, including several cabinet ministers, has resigned from the government of Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea 's national parliament in Waigani.

Papua New Guinea 's national parliament in Waigani. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The United Resources Party, which has eight MPs, today joined the opposition, or alternative government, at its camp at Port Moresby's Laguna Hotel.

Among the party's are its leader and Mt Hagen MP, William Duma, who has effectively resigned as State Enterprises Minister.

Another URP MP, Jelta Wong, has also resigned as Police Minister, confirmed to RNZ Pacific the party had made the move to leave Mr O'Neill's government.

At least two other MPs outside the party, including Wera Mori, the minister for Trade and Commerce had left the government.

The resignations follow a series of recent defections from government in the past month.

It has bolstered the ranks of the Opposition which is planning to table a motion of no confidence against Mr O'Neill in parliament.

The Opposition has put the position of alternative prime minister up for grabs after Tari MP James Marape took himself out of the running.

Mr Marape had been nominee for alternative prime minister in the Opposition's motion of no confidence which it lodged earlier this month, but withdrew this week.

After today's defections, the opposition appears to have at least 60 MPs in the 111-seat parliament.

Papua New Guinea government MP James Marape outside the national court in Waigani after an electoral petition against him was dismissed.

James Marape Photo: Melvin Levongo

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