No Chance for Vote of No Confidence? Government Has 54 MPs - Party Leaders, Smaller Parties and Independent MPs Are Devious

Showing Original Party Membership
An attempt for Vote of No Confidence (VoNC) on Peter O’Neill will keep his government on its toes for the remaining half of this political term. Many people think that stability within political parties will have translated to stability for the government. Talks of stability has shifted to a potential VoNC: Is Papua New Guinea likely to see a change of government?

Right now, there is complete breakdown of party membership, especially amongst the three major political parties that came in after 2012 election. More than half of Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) party, National Alliance (NA) party and Papua New Guinea (PNG) party members have deserted their party leaders.

Look no further than THE party and PNG party. Their members are everywhere in Parliament from high ranking Government ministers to Opposition, and from Middle Benchers to Back Benchers.

The Post Courier revealed that 65 Members of Parliament (MPs) showed support for PM last night at Paddi’s Bar (09/02/2015). The report indicated that three coalition parties have renewed their support for the PM and his People’s National Congress (27) amidst speculation of a vote of no confidence: People’s Progress Party (8), United Resources Party (7) and National Alliance (8).

People’s party (6), whose leader is Peter Ipatas, has not indicated his commitment yet. It is clear that his party has been with prime minister all along - there is no need to do that. But, wouldn’t it be right for Enga governor to also declare his party’s support for Peter O’Neill publicly like others have done?

Also, why is the second biggest party (THE) whose deputy leader is Deputy Prime Minister did not indicate its support for PM? Obviously, Don Polye and Peter O’Neill are not on good terms so why should he. Where does this place DPM, Leo Dion? He is still a THE party member.

Another question that arises it that ‘why was the founder of National Alliance party, Sir Michael Somare, sitting in middle bench during recent parliament sitting?’ It is obvious that despite his reassurance, Hon Patrick Pruaitch does not have backing from Sir Michael Somare and Hon Kerenga Kua.

One large group of MPs who can move about at whim are the Independent MPs (14). Some have held ministerial portfolios, others joined larger political parties but most were ‘scattered’ about with no party affiliation.

Similarly, there are 14 political parties with less than 3 MPs. They are an interesting group. Those who have held ministerial portfolios are bound to stay foot. Others who have joined the government to collect Services Improvement Program funds are likely to be the first ones to jump ships if the tide turns.

Perhaps an important point is the number released by PC showing that 46 MPs were NOT with the group that pledged support for PM.  Who are they? To know who they are, you just have to identify who went to Paddi’s Bar on the night of 9th January 2015. Any insider will not put names to numbers. They just can’t or they are lying to ensure that ‘number game’ is shrouded in secrecy.  

Here is a hint: the number cited by government insiders could be less than thought. Parties supporting PM, including his own PNC party, have 54 members. Most of them would have turned up. It is worth nothing that Peter Ipatas’ People’s Party has NOT publicly reaffirmed their support for PM.

So, is it correct to say Peter O’Neill does not have to worry about a looming VoNC on him? He knows that his 30-months of comfort and safety has expired. What he does not know is that his greatest enemies are his closest friends.

Those who don’t trust him are MPs who are with him just because of the Alotau Accord, including those lured in by Service Improvement Program funds. The 'agreement' that propelled him to stardom as the most unpopular PM is history of Papua New Guinea is, likely, to cause his fall.