Showdown for Political Strength in Goroka

By Adelaide Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Last week, Goroka in Eastern Highlands Province became a scene for a showdown of political strength as it hosted both the Opposition and Government. While the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and his entourage launched Government projects, the Ppposition was given a tour of project sites by the Eastern Highlands Governor, Peter Numu – Governor Numu subsequently defecting from Government, to join the Opposition.

For some commentators, the trip to Goroka for both sides was an opportunity to show their numerical strength as the Opposition looks to file a motion of no confidence in early February.

The groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremony by the Government entourage to Goroka, to open a state of the art surgical ward and Goroka market, was a showcase as EHP members of parliament rallied behind the Prime Minister, the Governor departing Goroka with the Opposition Camp made up of Kerenga Kua, Sir Mekere Morauta and Isi Leonard.

What is now clear, politics was being played behind the scene with the newest member for the Opposition stating he hadn’t received a courtesy call or notice of the Government delegation’s arrival in Goroka. 

The Government entourage gathering PNC members Benny Allen, the member for Ungai, Johnson Tuke, the member for Kainantu and Robert Atiyafa, member for Hengnofi to show strength.

Meanwhile The Eastern Highlands Provincial Government media unit sent EMTV news pictures of the opposition’s arrival in Goroka last week – with Governor Numu escorting them around key project sites the EHP Provincial Government had hoped to develop under the proposed Agriculture Industrial Park.

Confirming what Opposition member, Sir Mekere had stated when they returned from Goroka with the announcement that 8 MP’s would be joining the Opposition.

The Minster for Communication Information and Energy, Sam Basil, who was in Goroka with the Government,  also spoke of the trip to Goroka and suggested that the Opposition was trying to poach 8 MP’s from Eastern Highlands.

With the defection of Eastern Highlands Governor, Peter Numu, to the Opposition – Shadow Attorney-General, Kerenga Kua, says the count down is on for a proposed vote of no confidence – and the possible defection of more MP’s to the Opposition.

One thing is for sure – the possibility of a motion, and vote of no confidence is highly likely, and will all boil down to numbers on the floor of parliament.

Adelaide Sirox Kari

Adelaide's current role in the News Department is as a Political Reporter covering cross-cutting issues on gender based and other social issues,

Adelaide Sirox Kari
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