25 Jul 2007

Warning for MPs in Papua New Guinea - beware of inducements during coalition building

3:14 pm on 25 July 2007

With nearly half of the seats declared in the Papua New Guinea elections the scramble to be part of the governing coalition is underway.

Writs are to be returned by Monday next week with the Electoral Commissioner notifying the Governor General which party should be given first choice to try and form a government.

That is likely to be the ruling National Alliance, whose leader, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, says will win as many as 25 seats in the 109 seat Parliament.

So far the NA has eleven - with the next best performing party having three.

Meanwhile Transparency International PNG's secretary, Richard Kassman, is warning newly elected MPs not to sell their votes as has happened in the past.

"The National Alliance, or a coalition, should be able to confidently form a coalition without allegations of money changing hands for support. This is it, people sell their support to the highest bidder."