Joseph Lelang resigns as PNG Opposition Leader

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Joseph Lelang has resigned as Papua New Guinea Leader of the Opposition and also as a member of the People’s National Congress party.

This shocking announcement comes after Lelang received huge backlash from the public through social media for not attending media conferences staged by the members of the Opposition.

The member for Kandrian-Gloucester made the announcement in a media conference in Port Moresby.

His resignation comes on the eve of the first Parliament sitting for 2024 and as MPs from the government tender their resignations to join the Opposition.

Lelang said his resignation is due to the fact that he had been left out of discussions of political leaders who have resigned from the government and his absence from media conferences as the opposition leader.

He said he had considered his decision long and hard before taking this action.

Lelang will not be moving to another party, but rather be sitting at the opposition backbench of parliament.

His resignation now leaves the Opposition Leader’s post vacant, giving space for the opposition to choose the next leader who hopes to become the nominee for the post of Prime Minister in the Motion of No Confidence that is expected to be introduced during this week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister James Marape is confident that Pangu Pati will remain in Government after confirming a total membership of 54 Sunday during the Party’s 27th National Convention at the Hilton Hotel.

The ruling Pangu party is not shaken by the possibility of a vote of no confidence after declaring a solid membership with the inclusion of two additional Members of Parliament joining from PNG National Party and United Labour Party.

He welcomed the two first term MPs, Raphael Tonpi for Mendi Open who resigned from United Labor Party and Karamui-Salt Nomane MP Francis Yori Alua who resigned from PNG National Party and joined Pangu Pati bringing the total to 54 MPs.

Prime Minister Marape says Pangu has contributed immensely to nation building and will continue to deliver going forward.

“Even with or without me, Pangu is here to stay. We don’t care after upcoming Vote of No Confidence, we care about future of our children and progress of this nation, and we stand committed to serve,” Marape said.

Marape informed the county that this Convention is important for the party as they discussed on important agendas for the party going forward but, he assured that Pangu remains intact and Confident in the upcoming VONC.

“We only need two more members to pass the absolute majority in upcoming VONC. Who knows we have high and low tides and more will be joining us,” Marape said.

Leader of Pangu Highlands and Governor of Southern Highlands William Powi welcomed the two MPs into the Pangu Network nationwide.

He said with the inclusive of two MPs brings the total of Highlands Pangu MPs up to 21.

“We want stability and continuity and your coming to Pangu gives hope and confidence to PNG,” Powi said.

The first term MPs said that their decision is purely for the best interest of the people who mandated them.

Karamui-Salt Nomane MP Yori Alua said, “I made my decision at my own initiative to join the party. I thought it was in the best interest of my people who gave me the mandate…as the first term MP I feel it’s important to be in the government”.

In another development, Governor for West Sepik, Tony Wouwou announced in Vanimo that he will move from middle bench back to Government.

He made this announcement in the presence of Minister for Works and Highways Minister Solan Mirisim.

Both MPs were in Vanimo to witness the presentation of two Isuzu NPR Dyna trucks to the people of Edwaki LLG of the Telefomin District.

Minister Mirisim welcomed the decision by Govenor Wouwou stating that stability in government is important for service delivery in a province like West Sepik.

He stated that to have many leaders from the same province in government will see a lot of benefits in terms of service delivery.

SOURCE: NBC PNG NEWS/POST COURIER/PACNEWS