PNG's People's Progress Party rues departure of MPs

2:40 pm on 1 June 2015

The executive of one of Papua New Guinea's leading political parties is reeling from the departure of two of its MPs to the ruling People's National Congress.

Papua New Guinea's parliament.

Papua New Guinea parliament Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The People's Progress Party's general-secretary has confirmed that their two departing MPs, Theo Zurenuoc and Tobias Kulang, have written to him formally notifying of their departure.

Moses Kar says the PPP, now reduced to five MPs, is disappointed it has lost the MPs to its bigger coalition partner.

"We were a bit upset because their departure was a surprise to the whole team. But there's nothing much we could do. The reasons were not given and I don't know why they left, because we are part of the coalition partner."

Moses Kar says the PPP executive and parliamentary caucus will meet to discuss a response to the MPs' departure.

It remains to be seen whether the role of speaker of parliament, currently held by Theo Zurenuoc, will be given to an MP still in the PPP.

Under the Alotau Accord, through which the coalition government was formed, the speaker's position was to be held by a PPP member.

Mr Kar says it's the prerogative of the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to decide.