29 Jun 2004

PNG opposition to try motion of no-confidence, confirms Yali defection

10:54 am on 29 June 2004

The Papua New Guinea opposition has indicated it'll give notice of a motion of no-confidence in the Michael Somare-led Government today in parliament.

However, following the swearing in yesterday of three new MPs from recent by-elections, the government is still confident it has the numbers in the house.

But the opposition has been boosted by some newly confirmed defections, as our correspondent Peter Niesi reports...

"Madang governor James Yali had his own press conference and he had indicated that he together with the Sandaun governor Carlos Yuni and nine others would abstain in the event of a motion of no-confidence against the Somare-led government."

Now, that needs to be understood in the light of the integrity law. Then at best what can happen is that those who support the opposition, would abstain from voting, by not going into parliament's session at that time.

Now Mr Yali is claiming that eleven others are with him, but opposition sources have indicated that up to six National Alliance MPs have been spirited out and been hidden in different parts of either Port Moresby or the country.

And the general idea is that that will affect the abstentions, so that they don't vote with National Alliance, in the event that such a motion does come before parliament.

Peter Niesi says the motion of no-confidence is unlikely to disrupt the main business on parliament's agenda today, which is the swearing in of Sir Paulias Matane as governor-general to fill the vacancy which has been open since last year.