Addressing the media this evening at the Crown Hotel, in the presence of Milne Bay Governor John Luke Crittin, Abel stressed on teamwork “despite our good brothers leaving us”.
“We certainly take on board all those issues that were raised by our brothers and issues that were raised by myself,” he said.
“And I’m so thankful that the party and our Prime Minister, has the understanding attitude that they have, we go forward together, we take on those issues, and as a team, we continue to respond to those issues.
“In such a time like this, it is my duty to try and ensure that there’s continued stability in the country, and we continue to work on the many good things that our Party and our coalition is doing.”
Abel said it is a difficult job being a prime minister, and if everyone plays politics and aspires to be prime ministers, the job of being a PM and bringing development would be made even more trying.
“And so it is my responsibility to stand by my brothers in this party – the party that we spent a lot of time establishing.”
The DPM said the door is always open for those who have gone to the other side.
“For them to come back and continue to work with me, work with the Prime Minister to continue the work program. And help us address those issues that you have raised and I have raised as well.
“Otherwise, I want to say that basically we have the numbers intact here in our camp. We have 60 with the 29 members of PNC and the other members of the coalition.
“Government has been put on notice but I believe we’ll sustain through this period.”
Whilst the Government say they have 60 members, the newly-merged Alternate Government, through Tari-Pori MP James Marape, say they have 57 members. This would bring the total to 117 even though there are only 111 members in Parliament.
Numbers are expected to change at both camps until the tabling of next week’s Vote of No Confidence motion.
(Milne Bay Governor John Luke Crittin, left, with DPM Charles Abel)