Flow of members to PNG PM's party continues

5:33 pm on 21 December 2017

Another member of parliament has joined the political party of Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill.

PNG parliament

PNG parliament Photo: AFP

The People's National Congress emerged from PNG's mid-year general election with 29 MPs in the 111-seat parliament.

But its number has now swollen to 40 after Kerowagi MP Bari Palma, formerly of the PNG Party, decided to join.

By the end of the last parliament, Mr O'Neill had over 50 MPs in his party, before a significant number of them were ousted in the election.

However as in the previous term, the prime minister has been successful in luring MPs from smaller parties to his own, following the formation of his coalition government.

Mr Palma is a first-time MP from Chimbu province.

Although he ran in the election under the PNG Party banner, he attended Mr O'Neill's Alotau coalition talks rather than with his party leader Belden Namah at the opposition's talks.

Shortly before the election, Mr Palma was declared bankrupt by the national court.