Vote of No Confidence PNG 2019: 5 Possible Moves to Deter Successful Vote of Confidence for James Marape

The opposition pick for the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea's position in the coming Vote of No Confidence on the People's National Congress Party leader is a strategic move. The pick further solidifies the number at Laguna. 

Vote of No Confidence PNG 2019

UPDATE: VoNC to take place on the 28th MAY - 21 DAYS after tabling of Motion of VoNC


Mr Bryan Krammar MP hinted in his Krammar Report that the selection would be done by a secret ballot. That means that Mr Marape was selected among one or two others. However, he can be described as a driving force behind the Motion of Vote of No Confidence against the present prime minister.

James Marape's Strengths

Mr Marape had been the finance minister - the moneyman - for 8 years under the PNC Party. Mr Marape was a close confidante of PM Peter O'Neill. 

He knows how the prime minister spends the country's money. He knows how, when and where he gets money since 2012. 

He also knows Peter O'Neill massive investments deals past and present. And, probably, he knows better the PNG and Papua LNG projects deals.

He cited 'trust issues' as the main reason for resigning. We may NOT know what the real causes of distrust are. In hindsight, the PNG/Hela LNG project benefits and the new Papua LNG project deals were seen to be the main 'push factors'. 

Make no mistake, Marape could just be the best man in this political manoeuvring!

Mr Marape is a young leader/MP among the likes of Mr Bryan Krammer, Garry Juffa and Alan Bird. He also has the admiration of the old MPs like Kerenga Kua, Sir Mekere, Dr Marat, et. al. 

What is wrong with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill?

Definitely, no sane minister will leave the comfort of their perks and privileges and move to form a new government. No governor will leave the PNC party if 'the grass is still greener'. 

Something is not right and it is serious. 

Apparently, the defecting PNC members mentioned 'trust and confidence' issues in the PM has deteriorated lately. Understandably, a government formed by a coalition partners makes up the National Executive Councils (NEC). And any economic, investment, social, development or political decision MUST be a compromise - a decision based on parties consensus.

Unfortunately, many defecting PNC MPs including its coalition partners saw an absence of leadership based on respect and mutual parties consensus. 

Motion of Vote of Confidence May 7th 2019

The key to a successful change of government is not the numbers. ( I beg to differ here). It's money (the root of all evil?)!

In fact, the number is the result of hidden deals, manoeuvring, phone calls and sweet talks. Expect the unexpected, right?

Young and mature leaders moving for the change in the prime minister are not used to sweet-talking. Many of them are straight talkers. At present, it seems only the forward-thinking MPs will change the government and we need 60 of them.

Unfortunately, two ministers moved in between camps namely Mr Douglas Tomuriesa Member for Kiriwina Goodenough and East New Britain Governor Nakikus Konga. Mr Tomuriesa openly rebuked the leadership of the PNC government but returned to their camp the next day.

Do not trust what comes out of every MP's mouth. Like a dog that eats its vomit, an MP walks right back on his words with the tails between his legs. 

We never know until the Motion of Vote of No Confidence is tabled in parliament and voted. There are 7 days from the time of Motion of VoNC when the real VoNC takes place. So, stay strong. (Update: the parliament privilege committee extended the voting session for 21 days - VoNC session on the 28th May 2019)

5 Possible Outcomes of VoNC 2019

Several moves can jeopardise the impending Vote of No Confidence against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and his divisive PNC party. 
  • Big promises and large sums of money at play
MPs jumping ships. Some MPs (not all) like to hear sweet promises and the smell of money. 

It could be hard for political yoyos to avoid such 'pull factors'. The only way is to pause and reflect on the last 8 years of each MPs experience. 

And, make the decision based on the reasoning rather than emotion.
  • Dealy tactic on legal interpretation on VoNC 2019
This is highly likely in the event that the current government spots any irregularities in either the opposition's PM choice or the technical aspect of VoNC. PM will seek the legal interpretation of and validate technical aspects of the VoNC 2019 if there is any chance of delaying the event.

This tactic was used on many occasions in the past by the government. Unfortunately, it further throws decent on public opinion about government. 
  • Speaker siding with the government 
The Speaker is with the government. His neutral stand in the event of a VoNC on PNC government is the key to tabling the Motion of VoNC successfully. 

Not entertaining motion or citing some minor technical issues can frustrate the opposition attempt on the VoNC. 
  • Prime Minister Resigning 
The prime minister will not resign. He has the power strongly welded in his hand. In fact, if he resigns, his ability to control the MPs also diminishes. He will not resign.

  •  Leverage the loses in opposing camps 
Gaining number is what matters between the 7th and 14th May 2019. Of all the MPs at work, there are Magnets, Dealers, Golden Oldies, Straight Shooters, Whisperers, Power Brokers and King Makers. This is how the 111 MPs can be classified.
  • Magnets are the prime minister candidates seen by the people and MPs as potential leaders; 
  • Dealers are also called the briefcase carriers who will do anything to open it; 
  • Golden Oldies are dinosaurs of PNG politics; 
  • Straight shooters are the young MPs who want a better future for PNG; 
  • Whisperers are the shadowy politicians, especially the MPs who did not make their stance clear yet. 
The next two classes of MPs are a class of their own: 
  • ↣Power Brokers are different from Dealers - Power Brokers leaders. They have great listening skills. When they speak, other MPs listen in return; and
  • ↣King Makers are a combination of Magnets and Power Brokers. They are good listeners. Their actions are too selfless. 
On this note, you can classify your MP as a Magnet, Dealer, Golden Oldy, Straight Shooter, Whisperer, Power Broker and King Maker.

⏪A replay of the events leading up to PNG VoNC 2019

Tuesday 7th May 2019 (Motion of VoNC)

At the ring of the bell at 2 PM, the speaker enters the parliament and takes his seat. He'll acknowledge the motion for Vote of No Confidence. 

Parliament will extend for 1 week and resume on the 14th May for the actual VoNC to take place. (Update: the parliament privilege committee extended the voting session for 21 days - VoNC session to take place on the 28th May 2019)

Monday 6th May 2019

- Laguna Camp named Hon. James Marape as Alternative PM
- Nine former Pangu Pati members, led by Bulolo MP, Sam Basil have joined the Melanesian Alliance Party.
- Hon. Douglas Tomuriesa Member for Kiriwina Goodenough returns to Crown after spending time at Laguna.
- East New Britain Governor Nakikus Konga rejoins his party in the PNC led coalition despite turning up at Laguna camp this morning.
- Enga Governor, Peter Ipatas, joins Laguna camp
- Parliament Speaker Hon. Job Pomat just arrived in Crown Plaza camp.

Sunday 5th May 2019

- All 5 Sandaun Province MPs including the Governor, Tony Wouwou, are now at the Laguna camp. They are Belden Namah (Vanimo-Green), Joe Sungi (Nuku), Patrick Pruaitch (Aitape-Lumi) Solan Mirisim (Telefomin).

Saturday 4th May 2019 

- Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel in the company of a lone Milne Bay governor (and after 5 hours delay) announced his continued support for Peter O’Neill
- Laguna camp announced 57 MPs in camp and planned to review all agreements concluded recently by the O'Neill-Abel Government.

Friday, 3rd May 2019

- Douglas Tomuriesa, Member for Kiriwina-Goodenough, urges more Papuan MPs to join their cause.
- Member for Telefomin, Solan Mirisim, pushing for young leaders to make a stand.
- Dr Puka Temu, Member for Abau Open, joins the growing list of MPs dissatisfied with the Prime Minister. Sir Puka Temu said they have made a decision to move because of internal disagreements over how the country is being managed.
- All 15 Pangu MPs have resigned. 7 MPs have joined the 'Laguna' camp which now claims to have 51 members in total. It is unclear, what the Basil led faction is planning to do at this stage. 

Thursday 2nd May 2019

- The People's National Congress says the party has resolved "to back" Peter O'Neill as Prime Minister in the coming vote of no confidence. The party posted photos on its Facebook page claiming 38 members are intact. The caucus meeting initially planned for 6 May was moved to 1 May to counter moves by the opposition and defecting MPs. 
More updates to come. 

Monday 29th April 2019

- Tari Pori MP, James Marape, has announced that he is officially leaving the People’s National Congress citing lack of confidence in PNC party leader and PM O'Neill
- Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin and Okapa MP, Saki Soloma have also announced their formal exit from The People's National Congress Party.

Sunday 28th April 2019

- Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has arrived back in the country from China

Friday 26th April 2019 

- Governors Sir Peter Ipatas (ENGA), William Powi (SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS) and Phillip Undialu (HELA) resign from PNC


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