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August 4, 2020
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Polye: changing of chairs and tables should not be seen as a big thing. That doesn’t solve PNG’s problems

Speculations are rife over the leadership of Papua New Guinea’s Opposition following claims by political inside sources over an alleged “take over move” by leader of Triumph Heritage Empowerment (T.H.E) party and Kandep MP, Don Polye, of the opposition leader post.

Claims made by political sources over an alleged meeting said to have taken place between current T.H.E party members in the opposition, party leader Don Polye and deputy opposition leader, Sam Basil where an alleged vote was claimed to have taken place ousting Beldan Namah as opposition leader and Polye taking up post, circulated today, mostly through social media.

It has also been claimed by ‘political sources’ that leader of the opposition, Beldan Namah and Rabaul MP, Dr Allan Marat were not present at this alleged meeting.

When responding to questions raised by premier FM100 talkback host, Roger Hau’ofa, on Friday morning, November 28, on whether he would become leader of the opposition, Polye stated that they [opposition] were a team, as one, and urged the nation to see them as such.

“We are a team, as one; see us as one”, he expressed.  

Accompanied by deputy leader of opposition and Bulolo MP, Sam Basil, the pair addressed issues of national interest, in particular the budget deficit, and made known the opposition’s response to the 2015 National Budget and the 2014 Supplementary Budget while engaging in conversation with callers, live, on national radio.

Polye said that he had a simple answer to speculations over the leadership of the country’s opposition and that decisions of matters as such would be made known at “another time”.

“Other issues, changing of chairs and tables should not be seen as a big thing. That doesn’t solve PNG’s problems.

“If it becomes an issue or if there are any in house issues, they can be easily addressed”, said Polye.

The Kandep MP went on to say that Papua New Guinea was faced with “much bigger problems” and those were of their priority.

However, it is expected that a formal statement from the opposition will be made to address claims.

While the nation watches to see the outcome of the latest political turn of events, which include the setting up of the Prime Minister’s leadership tribunal by the Chief Justice, Papua New Guineans continue to take to social media as a means of stating their concerns over the nation’s state of political and economic affairs.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, in an interview with EMTV, has affirmed political stability of the government. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the government coalition is intact and he has the support of close to 100 members in parliament.

“[Regarding] the coalition, as you know in terms of numbers, PNC is the biggest party on the floor of parliament. NA is the next biggest party, with about 10 members. Of course PPP with 7, URP with 8,” he said.

In reaction to the announcement in parliament by East Sepik Governor, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare of moving to the middle benches, Mr O’Neill, said he (Sir Michael) had every right to sit wherever he wants to in the house.

“The outburst by Sir Michael yesterday is just political opportunism. He took an opportunity to try and criticise our deal with refinancing of the Oil Search shares through the UBS loan.

“I respect his decision and if he wants to sit in one of the empty chairs on the other side, he can contribute to many of the nation’s issues from any chair in parliament,” he said.

He also said that Eastern Highlands Governor, Julie Soso was a member of the Triumph Heritage and Empowerment party headed by Kandep MP Don Polye and would not be missed by the government.

“Governor Soso is a member of the THE party. She did not move from government to the Opposition. Her party was thrown out of government so it’s a number that we didn’t have in any case. So we welcome her to participate in lively debates from the other side of the floor.

That is part of democracy. We respect that and we understand that,” said Mr O’Neill.

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