Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Papua New Guinea government survives another day


Papua New Guinea's government has survived another day, with the opposition unable to muster the numbers to move a vote of no confidence today.

However, the opposition is confident it will be able to get more ministers onside overnight in order to move a successful vote of no confidence when parliament sits again on Wednesday.

Former forest minister Belden Namah told reporters outside parliament today that the opposition would have the numbers to roll the government.

"When parliament sits we will have 55 on our side and we'll see a change," he said.

Parliament will sit on Wednesday morning for the swearing in of Governor-General Paulius Matane, and then the opposition is expected to move the vote of no confidence.

The strength of the opposition, which doubled in size this week after a raft of defections, was tested in parliament on Tuesday.

It gained 42 out of 109 votes when moving for an extension of question time.

The scene is now set for a busy night, with the opposition moving to convince other government members who remain on the fence to join them and form a new government.

Former deputy prime minister Puka Temu resigned on Monday and is now vying for the prime minister's job.


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