By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE National Alliance party, Papua New Guinea's biggest political party, is in a crisis following the sacking of 20 parliamentarians who crossed the floor to join the new government, The National reports.
The party's national executives met on Tuesday after the sacking of their ailing parliamentary leader Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and decided to expel all 20 MPs including Speaker Jeffery Nape and Finance and Treasury Minister Don Polye for "conducts prejudicial to the interest of the party".
The party, which ruled for nine consecutive years, is now split 20/21.
NA president Simon Kaiwi explained at a press conference that the actions were taken following the dumping of Sir Michael Somare, first as prime minister on Aug 2 and, on Tuesday, as regional member for East Sepik.
Kaiwi said the defectors had, by their decision, shown disrespect for the party, its leadership and constitution.
The NA group in government has until Sept 28, under the rules of the party, to appeal the decision.
Polye responded yesterday by calling on the national executives of the party to convene an urgent NA council meeting to discuss the issue.
He also called on the NA executive members to resign.
The national executive comprised Kaiwi, general secretary Stephen Pokawin, public officer Joyce Grant, treasurer Thomas Bullen and the parliamentary leader of the party.
The leadership post had become a contentious issue also with the executives claiming Sir Michael was still leader while other regional presidents and the defecting MPs claiming Polye was now the new leader.
Polye insisted yesterday he was the duly elected party leader and would remain in that position because he still had most of the NA MPs on his side.
He was proposed and accepted as the leader during the party caucus meeting in Minj last month.
Polye said he and his group had taken the decision they did because corruption and leadership issues were repeatedly ignored in the past.
The expulsion of Sir Michael as East Sepik MP was by operation of the law and not the work of any member of NA, he said.
1. Jeffery Nape – Parliament Speaker
2. Don Polye – Treasurer (Kandep)
3. Ano Pala – Foreign Affairs (Rigo)
4. Mark Maipakai – Labour &
Industrial Relations (Kikori)
5. Charles Abel – Commerce, Industry
& Trade (Alotau)
6. Lucas Dekena – Lands & Physical
7. Andrew Mald – Community
Development (Moresby Northeast)
8. Sai Beseo – Correctional Services
9. Sali Subam – Sports (South Fly)
10. David Arore – Higher Education,
Science & Technology (Ijivitari)
11. Peter Humphreys – Governor
(West New Britain)
12. Leo Dion – Governor (East
13. John Luke Critten – Governor
14. Michael Sapau – Milne Bay
15. Alphonse Moroi – Governor
16. James Gau – Governor (Madang,
17. Mathew Poiya – MP (Goilala)
18. Pitom Bombom – MP (Kerema)
19. Buka G Malai – MP (Madang)
20. Yawa Silupa – MP (Lufa)