COALITION LEADERS: Powes Parkop (SDP); Peter O’Neill (PNC); Sir Julius Chan (PPP) and William Duma (URP) showing their unity in forming the next coalition government, in this picture taken at 7.25pm this evening in Port Moresby.
The People’s National Congress (PNC) Party has announced that it has formed a coalition parties and independent members of parliament who have agreed to support it, to form the Tenth Parliament of Papua New Guinea.
In a joint statement released to the media at 8pm this evening, party leaders of the PPP, URP, SDP, and the PNC, said in accordance with National Electoral Laws, PNC is now anticipated to be called upon by His Excellency, the Governor General, to form government.
The statement reads, “During the past five years, the government has delivered unprecedented growth through the delivery of clear, and targeted policies.
“There have been programs and policies that could have been run with greater efficiency, and lessons have been learnt. The new government will increase its capability to meet the expectations of our people.”
The joint statement has as its signatories, Peter O’Neill, Leader of the People’s National Congress Party; Rt. Hon. Sir Julius Chan, Leader of the People’s Progress Party; William Duma, Leader of the United Resources Party; and Powes Parkop, Leader of the Social Democratic Party.
This has been the strongest claim to numbers to date, following PNC’s latest declaration of Wake Goi last night, and the potential declaration of Robert Atiyafa for the Henganofi seat, taking the total PNC declared members, to 23.
Sir Julius and the People’s Progress Party faced a tough challenge in their previously-held seats in New Ireland, with the party losing Namatanai, and Kavieng Open, to National Alliance’s Walter Schnaubelt, and Ian Ling-Stuckey.
With their latest declaration of Kevin Isufu for Wewak Open, their number of declared seats so far, is up to four.
Sir Julius has not made a secret of the fact that PPP will not work with National Alliance, after being ridiculed during the campaign period this election.
And in what may be his final term of parliament, Sir Julius needs the support of being part of a coalition in government, to ensure his plans for autonomy for New Ireland, are realized.
William Duma’s United Resources Party also currently brings four members to group. And despite a rocky final days in the last administration, it would seem that government is where Mr. Duma, also prefers.
The Social Democratic Party has already declared Fr Simon Dumarinu for Central Bougainville, and sitting NCD Governor, and Party Leader Powes Parkop, currently maintains a strong lead in counting which continues to drag on. Should he be eventually declared, it would bring an additional two members to the group.
And while the grouping says it has the support of independents, enough to make it clear to the Head of State, that it holds the numbers, the group remains tight-lipped about which independents have aligned with them.
Tomorrow is expected to see an interesting turn of events, as political groupings in Kokopo (National Alliance); and Goroka (Eastern Bloc & ‘The Alliance’) work through parties like PPP and URP, who they had initially announced as being part of their numbers.