12 Jul 2010

PNG opposition claims it can muster votes for no confidence vote in Prime Minister

2:14 pm on 12 July 2010

The opposition in Papua New Guinea says it could muster the numbers to topple the Prime Minister in a no-confidence vote.

But the National newspaper reports a senior government minister says the coalition is fully behind Sir Michael Somare.

There have been warnings that a no confidence vote is imminent, with the opposition needing a minimum of 34 additional members to give it a simple majority to vote out the prime minister.

MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham claims 11 MPs are siding with the opposition to change the government.

But a government spokesperson says a number of opposition MPs are expected to join the government and the ruling National Alliance party.

At present, there is no notice of a vote of no-confidence before Parliament, so one would have to be introduced whern Parliament sits next week, or in November when it sits for the budget.