Pangu leads, PNC jolted

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-The ruling Pangu Pati and its coalition parties have 46 elected MPs in camp and are confident of forming the next government, says party leader and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape.

In a joint media conference with the leaders of the party’s coalition partners in Port Moresby, Marape said they were hoping to get around 80 MPs by the end of the week.

He said they were a group of like-minded leaders who wanted to complete what they started three years ago.

The 46 is made up of 22 from Pangu, five from the United Resource Party, four from the National Alliance, three Independent candidates, three from the People’s Party, two from the Social Democratic Party, two from the People’s First Party, and one each from the Liberal Party, People’s Reform Party, People’s Progress Party, United Labour Party, and Destiny Party.

“We have other parties who have also expressed interest in joining us,” he said.

“So far, out of the 58 MPs elected into office, 46 are in the Pangu and coalition parties’ camp,” he said.

Marape remained confident that Pangu and its coalition partners would be invited to form the government by the end of the week.

“Come next week Tuesday, this camp will go to Parliament with 80-plus MPs,” he said.

He also thanked the coalition partners for standing with Pangu again. “Our rights in the resource sectors, and to pass back more benefits to citizens as we continue the work of leaving no place or person behind in as far as development is concerned,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pangu Pati is leading with 22 seats after 52 of the 118 seats for General Election 2022 (GE22) have been declared.

The People’s National Congress (PNC) is trailing with only nine seats and it was jolted by last week’s GE22 results when its deputy leader and former deputy prime minister Davis Steven was ousted in Milne Bay’s Esa’ala.

Steven was toppled by Pangu Pati’s Jimmy Maladina who crossed the absolute majority with 9,359 votes while Steven was at 7,307.

In another shock result, PNC’s greenhorn Anderson Mise, ended veteran politician Patrick Pruaitch’s four-term stranglehold on the seat that he first won in GE02 (7th Parliament).

Mise was declared the winner during the elimination of the ballot count after securing 16,929 votes.Pruaitch garnered only 9,924 votes.

Pangu Pati is still leading with 22 seats, trailed by PNC (nine), United Resources Party (four), National Alliance (three) and, People’s Party and Social Democratic Party winning two seats each.

They are joined by the three victorious Independents (all new MPs) – East New Britain Governor Michael Marum, Menyamya’s Solen Loifa and Middle Fly’s Maso Hewabi.

Loifa became a “giant slayer” when he beat the runner-up, PNC’s Jackty Yatipo. The incumbent, Benjamin Philip, who switched to Pangu Pati, was rejected by votes, doing so badly that he was eliminated during the ballot count.

Prime Minister and Pangu Pati leader James Marape congratulated Maladina in a media statement on Friday for the political slaying of Steven.

“I have news for (PNC leader) Peter O’Neill.

“His biggest nightmare has arrived in the form of Jimmy Maladina,” he added.

“Maladina was brought into Pangu after he took a stand in the UBS Commission-of-Inquiry, and highlighted Peter O’Neill’s (alleged) dealings, including his relationship with the owner of PAC LNG Carlo Civelli,” he said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS