MPs in PNG preparing for expected no confidence vote

4:42 pm on 21 May 2024
Papua New Guinea Parliament

Papua New Guinea Parliament Photo: EMTV Online / Tamara Pia Agavi

MPs in Papua New Guinea are beginning to count numbers ahead of a projected vote of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister James Marape next Tuesday.

But MPs will be back next week and the biggest question is whether the opposition can amass enough votes to unseat Marape.

The prime minister has asserted that his Pangu Pati still holds 59 seats, while his coalition includes a number of other parties that appear to give him a formidable hold on power in the 118 member House.

The National newspaper reports the registrar of political parties has put Pangu Pati numbers at 56, while there are also unsubstantiated reports circulating of rifts within the coalition.

The Social Democrats leader, Powes Parkop, whose party is part of the coalition, said the critical issue is whether Prime Minister James Marape's Pangu Pati can remain intact.

Back in February, the governor of East Sepik, Allan Bird, was the opposition's candidate to become prime minister.

He spoke to RNZ Pacific on that occasion about the need to change the trajectory for PNG in terms of the lawlessness gripping the country and issues around the 'bulge' in the youth population.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Rainbo Paita has also emerged as a possible contender for the prime ministership.

He has previously expressed his disgruntlement with the government's actions and reports from PNG say he has formed his own camp ahead of the expected vote.