57 MPs in total after camps merge

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The group that is expecting to form the next government through a vote of no confidence motion  now has 57 members in its camp.  This is more than half the number required to push forward a successful vote of no confidence.

This morning  Opposition MPs camped at the Sanctuary Hotel in Port Moresby  arrived at the Laguna Hotel where they were greeted by  the Marape camp.   The group immediately held a news conference  announcing their numbers and plans going forward.

Opposition leader, Patrick Pruaitch,  told the media that all agreements signed by the O’Neill-Abel Government will be reviewed.

“We will put Papua New Guinea’s interest first. For any major agreements that were concluded recently… we want to assure out country that they will be reviewed.

“In so far as the benefits are concerned,  I think it’s time the government take a bold stand.”

The  man of the moment was James Marape. MPs including former Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, heaped praise on the  former Finance Minister for breaking ranks three weeks ago.

“I take my hat off to James Marape. Because it was his move that triggered  this event.  I also want to thank the ministers and the  governors.

“We have  a government that is governed by one man,  for one man and the benefit of his friends.”

“The Papua New Guinea that Sir Michael, Sir Julius shaped has been changed profoundly and for worse.”

Although significantly weakened,  the PNC is still understood  to be attempting to maneuver through the political turmoil.

Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel, who called on  Mr. O’Neill to resign on Wednesday has not given any  clear indication of what he plans to do.  He is expected to hold a news conference today to announce his position.
Posting earlier on  his district Facebook page he said:  “My people, I ask for your patience. My heart is for this country always. There will be some announcements today.”

Scott Waide

is the Lae Bureau Chief and began his career with EMTV in 1997 as a News and Sports Reporter and Anchor and has been a media professional for over 19 years. Having previously worked as a Producer and Researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Port Moresby Bureau, he is a recipient of multiple awards including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Prize in 2005 in Iran for best news feature, the Pacific Island News Association Award and the Divine Word University Media Freedom Award.

Scott Waide