Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape is cautiously confident he has the numbers to beat the Vote of No Confidence and remain in power.

At last count Monday, Marape had 49 MPs on Loloata with him while challenger Rainbo Paita had the support of 39 MPs at the Sanctuary Hotel in North Waigani.

However, today is a normal sorting out day as Parliament resumes at 2pm.

No Vote Of no Confidence (VONC) will be entertained today as the Paita Alternate Government will need to submit a new motion to Parliament.

Marape said any moves by the Alternate Government led by Rainbo Paita will be defeated as lobbying intensified last night.

There were several MPs who have been notably absent from both camps and are expected to make their move today or in the week.

Parliament meets for its May sitting at 2 pm today and the numbers will become clearer when the MPs take their seats.

Parliament has also advised that the sitting arrangements have not been arranged as they are waiting on the list from both camps.

Marape and team will head to Parliament today with six ministerial seats vacant including the Leader of Government Business, since the defect and decommissioning of ministers.

Leaders from both camps will be advised today of the list from either side for sitting arrangements.

In response to questions asked by Post-Courier, Parliament stated that the motion was to be submitted and the Private Business Committee (PBC) would sit and go through for vetting.

The notice when submitted must include the name of the alternative PM.

Once the PBC is satisfied that the required procedures have been followed, the motion is then listed on the notice paper.

The next day the Speaker announces to Parliament that a vote of no confidence has been moved against the PM.

Parliament is adjourned for a week and then proceeds with a vote of no confidence.

This process can be delayed if government MPs dominate the PBC.

Alternate Prime Minister Rainbo Paita said that what happens in Parliament is the prerogative of all members on the floor of parliament.

Meanwhile, Governor for East Sepik and alternate Prime Minister (PM) Nominee Allan Bird has withdrawn his nomination.

Governor Bird was nominated on February by the Opposition as the alternate PM nominee.
“As is customary in our politics, the person with the most support receives the nomination. In this instance, the man of the hour is the Rainbo Paita.

“I left Government because like many MPs, I don’t see any solutions for our challenges from this government. I left to help fight bad decisions of the government that are affecting our people every day. So, this wasn’t a difficult decision.

“We waited for 3 months for our leaders to come and join us. The majority of our leaders don’t like the direction our country is going but they lack the will to make the change. We are grateful for the courage shown by this group of leaders led by Paita.

“I thank the 18 members of Parliament who gave me their support in February this year. Rt Sir Julius Chan, O’Neil, Sir Temu, Kua, Namah, Atiyafa, Arore, Donald,Arore, Peter, Sia, Nomane, Iduhu, Basil, Hewabi, Morris, Hagahuno and Wapunai.

“We have been a faithful, hard-working Opposition but we have fallen short and need the help.

“It was a great honour and privilege to be nominated. I am an Independent MP, this support was totally unexpected and undeserved. Thank you all so much.

“To Paita and the team, the country needs a change of government, it needs a good “government that cares for the people. Thank you and your team for the courage you all demonstrated by leaving the Marape government.

“Our 19 remain committed to changing the Government and bringing relief to our struggling people. We will not be moved and we remain committed to this cause.

“Many people will say Paita is too young and inexperienced. Whether that has merit is not for me to say. I was convinced in 2019 that Marape was the right person to lead the country. I was wrong.

“So, I certainly have no right to judge the Paita. He is a mandated leader elected by his people. I respect his mandate given by the people of Finschaeffen. I must respect the number of leaders who support him also.

“With that, I want to thank all the people of PNG for your wonderful support and kind wishes to myself and the team over the past 3 months.

“I know many of you will be disappointed but this is a decision based on numbers, I am only one man with 18 MPs in support. I simply don’t have the confidence of enough MPs and I must by convention concede and hand over to those who have the numbers to continue your fight.

“I hope you will extend that same support to Rainbo Paita as he leads us to change the government for the better.

“Whatever happens, I want to assure you all that I will remain in Opposition and continue to fight bad decisions of the government until the end of my term,” Bird said in a statement.