THE National Alliance has denied claims of a vacancy in the party’s political leadership, The National reports.
The party’s national president, Simon Kaiwi, said the Post-Courier’s front-page report on yesterday, claiming that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare would step down before Aug 14, was grossly misleading.
He said it appeared that the report was fabricated by people who were ignorant of the NA constitution and did not know the basic processes of government and parliament.
According to the newspaper report, quoting Deputy Prime Minister Don Polye, the prime minister had told a party caucus meeting that he would step down before next month and hand over the top job of running the country to another person within the National Alliance.
However, Kaiwi said this was not true, adding that the party has a provision within the NA constitution for the nomination of its leadership.
He said there was no vacancy in the party leadership and Sir Michael was still the parliamentary NA leader.
According to the NA constitution, the selection of a new party leader is taken during party conventions by party members. The prime minister is elected by members of parliament, not by individuals and political parties.
It is understood that the party leadership issue would be one of the highlights at the NA national convention in Western Highlands’ Jiwaka region.