23 Jul 2012

PNG parties set up camp as lobbying for power begins

2:49 pm on 23 July 2012

Major political parties in Papua New Guinea are setting up camps around the country from where they are trying to consolidate their numbers and form the new government.

Still ahead in the most seats as vote counting for the general election continues, the People's National Congress of caretaker Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has camped in Alotau Bay.

The PNC says it's already boosted its numbers with the move of the new independent MP James Lagea to join its ranks.

Meanwhile, the next best placed party, the Triumph Heritage Empowerment party, has set up a base in Kokopo.

A professor in comparative politics at Wellington's Victoria University, Jon Fraenkel expects there to be a lot of movement towards these camps.

"Then you'll probably see an attempt by that largest party to lock up its members of parliament and make them unable to be induced by other factions, that's what tends to happen after a PNG election. There's a strong desire always to create a bandwagon effect, so that you look as though you're the victor and then everyone will move in your direction."

Professor Jon Fraenkel