28 Jul 2009

PNG's opposition party says it has numbers to topple government

9:18 am on 28 July 2009

Papua New Guinea's opposition party says it has the numbers to topple the government through a vote of no-confidence.

Disgruntled members of the PNG government secretly met the opposition in the Eastern Highlands town of Goroka on the weekend to discuss plans to swap sides.

AAP on Monday has seen a list of 17 parties who collectively represent 51 members have agreed and are ready to form a government if a vote is to happen.

If the vote occurs, the opposition says more members are expected to follow their parties to join and create a new coalition majority of the parliament's 109 members.

An opposition source told AAP that they have the numbers.

The opposition leader, Sir Mekere Morauta, who was the Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002, said the government had to go.

Meanwhile, in a statement yesterday, the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, scuttled the vote of no-confidence speculation.