PM: Coalition partners intact and ready for vote challenge

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Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, has  presented a strong front in a post parliament session news conference  stating that he has the backing  of major coalition partners  who stand prepared to ward off a vote of no confidence.

Mr. O’Neill was flanked by former Prime Ministers, Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti  when he  spoke to the media this  afternoon.

“The government is well and truly solid, intact and we are ready to work.  As you can see with  the partners  led by all our coalition leaders, Sir Julius, Peter Yama,  Minister Duma, Minister   Basil and former Prime Minister Paias Wingti… We have shown courage to support a government that is working for the people of this country.”

The last five days have been the most trying for  Peter O’Neill  as his  PNC led coalition worked  to manage both internal conflicts and stem the flow of MPs leaving to join the opposition faction  camped at the Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby.

members  led by Abau MP,  Sir Puka Temu, defected to the opposition  saying they were dissatisfied with how  Peter O’Neill was running government.

Despite demands to  relinquish  the PNC leadership and the Prime Minister’s post, O’Neill has refused to let go of power. On Saturday, indications of a handover to  Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel didn’t happen.  Political insiders, said the an eight hour delay in the announcement  was due to  intense lobbying behind the scenes.

“I have been leading the party for 20 years and certainly there will be a change.  The change will be decided at our convention at 2021. For those aspiring for leadership roles, put your name up and of course the party caucus will decide.”

The Prime Minister says he is  taking the concerns raised by former coalition MPs very seriously.  Those concerns range from business opportunities for Papua New Guineans, LNG project benefits and external interference into government affairs.

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