10 Jul 2002

National Alliance party says independents will choose it's ranks

5:10 pm on 10 July 2002

The joint leading party in Papua New Guinea's election, the National Alliance, says it is confident that independent MPs would support its coalition.

NA Party President, George Manoa says the proposed coalition between his party, the Pangu Pati and the People's Progress Party will attract a large proportion of the independent MPs.

Mr Manoa says preliminary talks between the three parties have focussed on resolving policy differences to suit the proposed coalition.

Forty out of the 109 parliamentary seats have been declared from which the NA and Sir Mekere Morauta's People's Democratic party each have 7.

The People's Progress Party has 5 seats and the Pangu Pati two, while there are five independents so far.

The PDM is courting the independents, who are likely to be the kingmakers in the formation of a new government, but Mr Manoa says they'll bakc the NA NA coalition because it offers stability.

"The independents could play an important role in the formation of the next government. We believe that the independents coming through this time, are men of status and calibur and they know what their role is gonna be in the recovery of PNG from the brink of collapse. We believe that that alone will make them think seriously on which party they align themselves with or which coalition they align themselves with. We are prepared to make any compromise for us to be in government."

George Manoa