PNG Government shows strength in numbers

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the numerical strength showed the government is well and truly solid, intact and is ready to continue work. Picture: POST COURIER

PORT MORESBY, 08 MAY 2019 (POST COURIER) – The PNG government demonstrated its superior numbers in Parliament in a series of divisions, winning by 59 votes to 50.

Parliament has now adjourned until May 28 to allow for new ministers to be appointed and ensure they are fully briefed on their ministries.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, in a media conference immediately after Parliament adjourned, said the numerical strength showed the government is well and truly solid, intact and is ready to continue work.

He said the in-house issues raised during these tough few days, and the issues that the coalition partners and especially the party MPs that left for the opposition raised including issues of public service bureaucracy and all of the other matters will be addressed.

“We will take them fully onboard and we will start addressing them over the course of the next few weeks,” O’Neill said.

“There will be structural changes to many areas, so that we can improve the way that we conduct the business of our government and that is going to be discussed with the leaders over the next few days.

“As you can see the coalition led by our leaders, Sir Julius Chan, Governor Peter Yama, Minister William Duma, Minister Sam Basil and one of our great statesmen and former prime minister in Paias Wingti, and all the other great leaders who have shown courage to support the government that is working for the people of the is country.

“Our achievements are very much understated by many, but I can assure you that the policies and the work that our government has done for our people is visible.

“And that is the belief that many of our members continue to have in this government, and that is why we are thankful.

“The opposition has tested their numbers and we are very happy that they have a good number to hold the government to account.

“We shall continue to work in a manner that is going to reflect the good of the country, rather than for the interests of individuals.

“We are thankful for the support that the coalition partners have given to us.

“Much of the problem has been in my own party, the Peoples’ National Congress Party.

“There are some in-house issues and there are of course always some leadership ambitions within a big party like PNC.

“There have been some defections from the party.

“And we wish our former ministers and members well in their endeavour to pursue leadership issues and leadership challenges,” he said.

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