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PNG Minister Duma explains move, Oro Governor Juffa remains with government
10:43 pm GMT+12, 18/11/2020, Papua New Guinea

 Papua New Guinea Commerce and Industry Minister William Duma says the shocking shift by a group of Government MPs to the Opposition in Parliament on Friday caused him to unconsciously move as well.
 
“I was shocked and surprised when there was an exodus of ministers crossing Parliament to join the Opposition,” he said.
 
“It was not an intentional move. Later as the dust settled, I began to realise that I made a wrong move and rejoined the Government.
 
“What I had experienced is the same for other Government MPs who went and joined the Opposition.
 
“The move by Opposition Leader Belden Namah was a shock to many of us and we were caught by surprise.
 
“It’s best that all the MPs read and understand the Organic Law and the Parliamentary Standing Orders. The Organic Law is there. But we MPs fooled ourselves.
 
“So the Speaker Job Pomat did the right thing to recall Parliament to pass the 2021 Budget.
 
“And he will not be sent to jail for correcting this mistake that occurred on Friday.
 
“But all in all, this budget must reach the people. We work with bureaucrats on this budget.
 
“So we can’t wait till December or next year to pass it. Such practice does not happen anywhere. We have not broken any law.
 
“But what we did in Parliament can be questioned in court.
 
“After-all, what we did on Friday was wrong so today we just undid the wrong.”
 
However, on Friday when Duma was with the Opposition, he said a reason he left Government was to join like-minded leaders to close deals on major projects such as the Papua LNG and Porgera gold mine.
 
Meanwhile, Northern Governor Gary Juffa says he is remaining with the Government because change does not happen overnight.
 
“The cliché “Rome was not built in a day” is very applicable here,” Juffa said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
 
“It takes time, especially when you are rebuilding what is broken, what is burnt down, what has been destroyed.”
 
Juffa said people had seen projects introduced by the Government for upgrade of roads, and health and education facilities in the country.
 
“I have many friends and colleagues that I respect who are on the other side (Opposition) who are opting to change this Government and have voiced their concerns and reasons.”
 
Juffa said there were concerns and reasons that were worth considering.
 
“But for me they are not compelling enough to want to change this Government,” he said.
 
He said he had consulted widely with people in his province, most of whom had insisted he remained with the Government.
 
Meanwhile, Central Governor Robert Agarobe, who is part of the Government, said they were intact.
 
“I want to notify you all that the Government is still intact and functioning and work would go on,” he said on his Facebook page.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS


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