In making the announcement last night at Laguna Hotel, Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch said the decision was unanimously reached following their caucus.
“With his experience and with the experience of most of us around him and in this camp, we think that we will redefine and redirect ‘MV Papua New Guinea’ to its direct course,” stated Pruaitch.
“We hope that under his leadership, Papua New Guinea will start to see real changes and eventually take back Papua New Guinea.”
In response, Marape said: “For the Opposition to come out in one accord, conferring me the highest privilege to be the alternate Prime Minister in the process of Vote of No Confidence, I am totally humbled by the kind gesture.”
Marape further outlined his commitment to the group, saying he will honour his words and operate a team of leaders in a Melanesian consensus style of leadership.
On the other hand, the Government coalition remains unmoved, stressing they have the numbers.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said: “At present we have more than 60 Members of Parliament meeting together as part of our Government.
“Coalition Members are very much intact and supportive of the Government, led by the People’s National Congress Party.”
(Tari-Pori MP James Marape, left, shaking hands with Opposition Leader and Aitape-Lumi MP, Patrick Pruaitch, after their announcement last night at Laguna Hotel)