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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape is confident that any attempt to move a vote of no confidence against his coalition government will fail.
He said his 31 Pangu Pati MPs and the 60-plus members of coalition parties made up around 90 per cent of Parliament.
Marape welcomed to Port Moresby party member Aiye Tambua who has just won the Goroka seat in a by-election.
“Pangu now has 31 MPs,” he said.
“We also have a strong pact with our coalition partners – the National Party, United Resources Party, United Labour Party, National Alliance, People’s Party and People’s Progress Party.
“Together we have more than 90 MPs and we will put up a strong challenge (against any vote of no confidence motion).”
Marape said his coalition government was “formed legally on 30 May, 2019” in Parliament.
Section 145 of the Constitution allows a motion of no-confidence against the prime minister 18 months after the government is sworn in but 12 month before the next general election is scheduled to take place.
Marape cautioned people not to believe speculation on social media about a motion of no-confidence next month.
He accused O’Neill of being behind the speculations.
“This hogwash is not coming from anyone (but) O’Neill,” he said.
Marape said the position of prime minister “will alternate between O’Neill and me”.
“So if the country wants to go back to O’Neill, that is fine,” he said.
“It is O’Neill trying to make a comeback to be the prime minister. Everybody has the right to make a comeback to be the prime minister.
“(But) the numbers on the Government side is rock-solid. All the MPs are looked after fairly and are preparing for 2022 national elections. We only have one year left before 2022. It is 18 months away before the national election.
“Not too many MPs are keen (to have) instability (now),” he said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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