PNG's Deputy PM and other MPs cross the floor

4:40 pm on 13 November 2020

There were ructions in Papua New Guinea's Parliament today with government MPs crossing the floor.

Deputy Prime Minister, Sam Basil is among a number who joined the opposition this morning lending substance to reports of a motion of no confidence in the making.

Papua New Guinea's Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil

Sam Basil Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

In PNG, such a vote can only take place 18 months after a prime minister takes office and for James Marape that is the 30th of this month.

Basil, who's the leader of the United Labour Party was appointed Deputy Prime Minister early last month, replacing Attorney-General Davis Steven in a mini Cabinet reshuffle.

This morning both men were sitting in the Opposition.

Basil was seen sitting next to Opposition Leader, Belden Namah.

NBC reports others that crossed the floor included Health Minister, Sir Puka Temu, Labour Minister, Lekwa Gure, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade and leader of the National Alliance Party, Patrick Pruaitch, Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Wesley Nukundj, and Alotau MP Charles Abel.

Sir Puka was seen sitting next to Deputy Opposition Leader Allan Marat.

This latest twist in developments come after James Marape said last month that he was confident he had the numbers to defeat any motion of no confidence against him and his coalition government.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape addresses a business discussion in Port Moresby, January 2020.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape addresses a business discussion in Port Moresby, January 2020. Photo: PNG PM Media Unit