As the numbers game intensifies, the Niugini Islands Region continues to be a group that has remained largely silent over where it stands.
This week, there seemed to be some movement when East New Britain Governor, Nakikus Konga, went to the Laguna Camp and then, hours later, showed he had no intentions of moving just yet.
Konga, a People’s Progress Party member, could have caused a split this week in East New Britain’s five–man team which has vowed to change the economic and social landscape of East New Britain Province. But Konga’s decision to return to the coalition appears to have been strongly influenced by Party leader, former Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan, who remains within the coalition camp.
Pomio MP and Minister for Public Services Elias Kapavore says he will remain with the PNC Party. While the other two MPs and ministers, Jelta Wong and Emil Tamur, are unlikely to move. Elias Kapavore, released a statement earlier this week in response to his LLG ward leaders who requested him to join the opposition pack. He said he will remain ‘in the house’ and fix the issues of concern raised by other defecting MPs.
On the other end of the border, West New Britain’s governor Sasindran Muthuvel pulled away from the PNC party on Friday last week to join the opposition. Muthuvel’s move has further strengthened the number of MP’s from the New Guinea Islands Region who are now with the opposition.
The Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, quit from the PNC party to join the opposition last week. The remaining MPs from the NGI region are yet to make their stand known, as the days wind down to the no confidence vote against the current government.
Their stand, if any, could influence the current numbers game.