With last night’s announcement of a pact between the People’s National Congress (PNC) and the People’s Progress Party (PPP), there are indications that the highlands arm of the PPP is leaning towards the decision announced last by Sir Julius Chan and the PNC coalition members.
The Deputy Leader of the PPP for the Highlands Region, Kainantu’s Johnson Tuke, said this morning consent had been sought from party members to join a PNC led coalition.
This is despite claims that some PPP members would also head to the Goroka camp.
While Johnson Tuke has been under pressure to join the Pangu led coalition, he also indicated, the Sir Julius’ seniority as the founder of PPP is also being taken into consideration.
“Our consent was sought and the decision was announced,” Tuke said. “Sir J is the party’s mentor and he decides which strategic direction the party will take for the interests of the country.”
The PPP is currently without a party leader after Ben Micah lost the Kavieng seat to Ian Ling Stuckey. The national deputy leader, position is also vacant after Ken Fairweather’s loss in the Sumkar seat.
“The Party caucus will have to meet to decide who will take up the positions.”
Last night, the office of the outgoing Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, released a statement signed by the PNC, URP and the PPP saying the parties had agreed to form government.
“There shouldn’t be any confusion about where Sir Julius stands,” a PPP staff said when contacted this morning. “Sir J met with the PNC and the statement was released by the office of the outgoing Prime Minister.”