Opposition Leader seat remains vacant

An hour ago Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah tweeted, “I will not be in Opposition in this term of Parliament, 12 years in the Opposition is enough for my people and my party.”

As at 12pm, the government benches were filled up by Members of Parliament. More than 60 MPs are seated as they await the arrival of the Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, to conduct the election of the Speaker of Parliament.

According to Clerk of Parliament Kala Aufa, a number of writs were yet to be signed by the Governor General and brought to parliament, before formalities can begin.

Namah dismisses Porgera deal

He claimed that the mine closure has cost the country much and the reopening will cost even more.

In a statement, he said the deal which Prime Minister James Marape has signed off on, is no deal, as it was the offer on the table right from the start.

He called on Marape to tell the nation how much his “short term pain” through the closure of the mine has cost the nation.

He further demanded that the Prime Minister guarantee the return of jobs for the 3,600 workers of Porgera and a backpay for the losses suffered.

COVID-19 acquittals needed

Namah said large amounts of money were released, and need to be acquitted.

He challenged the Prime Minister to make public details of the COVID-19 operations.

“He must publish acquittals (accounts and details) and account for the first K24 million, the K600 million roll out, the K1.2 billion soft loan from Australia and all subsequent gifts, grants and loans,” the Opposition Leader said.

Cabinet reshuffle dangerous: Former PM

In a statement released today, Peter O'Neill said: “The Prime Minister has the prerogative to appoint anyone he pleases at his absolute discretion but the appointment of the Opposition Shadow Treasurer to the Treasurer’s post is a gross insult to Members who voted him into office.

Marape: Collective decision not to include two MPs

When clearing the air on the arrival and refusal to include two more MPs yesterday, Marape said the team collectively decided to shut the gate at 12 noon.

“We respectfully refused one or two personal friends, for me I refused one personal friend whose a member of parliament who came in and I had to respect these two leaders here,” he said.

“It is no more about James Marape, it is no more about William Duma, it is no more about Patrick Pruaitch. It is about the team of likeminded leaders on this side of the house.

VoNC motion yet to be screened

Acting Parliamentary Counsel Richard Whitchurch explained this is because the Private Business Committee that screens all private business motions did not sit on Wednesday last week, because parliament was adjourned. The Committee only meets when parliament meets or convenes.

The Committee is chaired by Speaker Job Pomat, the Deputy Speaker and five other elected Members who are not ministers.

Opposition, Marape camps merge

The announcement was made this morning by the merged group at Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby.

Twenty-four Opposition Members plus the current thirty-three in Marape’s camp brings the total to 57 MPs in the alternate government.

“The team of leaders here who have joined me from the government side, you must give credit to them,” said Marape.

ESP Governor applauds Numu

Bird applauded Eastern Highlands Governor, Peter Numu, for showing exceptional maturity.

“For the last 18 months, I usually talk about the struggles that we face in the provinces,” stated Bird.

“We have three levels of government that are constitutionally anchored and within those structures, we are supposed to run our country.”

However, Governor Bird and other members of the Opposition, including Numu, said these structures are not respected.

EHP Governor crosses to Opposition

Numu made the move after he did not get a favourable response from Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, regarding coffee farmers in his province.

In a media conference, the Opposition members welcomed Governor Numu and made a bold statement that many more are joining them.

Governor Numu said his move is for the good of his people and not for his own personal gain.

“I have been observing what has been going on with the current Government and cannot just sit there but will make a move.

“My move to the Opposition was for the good of my people.

Sir Puka denies claims of moving to Opposition

Sir Puka was referring to a social media post that claimed that he had discussed with the other Papuan MPs, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Alotau MP, Charles Abel, to move to the Opposition.

With the grace period for the vote of no confidence approaching, rumours are rife on social media on several MPs in the government making a move to change the Prime Minister.

However, many have denied such claims on social media claiming it is the desperate work of the Opposition.

Sir Puka was one such MP.