As PNG’s parliament moves towards a sitting where a no-confidence motion is expected from the Morauta opposition, rumours abound in the local press that three senior members of Sir Mekere’s coalition are about to defect.
The three MPs were unavailable for comment, and the Post-Courier knew, but wasn’t prepared to disclose, their names.
They were said to have been offered inducements such as a ministry if they agreed to stop openly criticising the Government on corruption and other issues.
When a no-confidence vote was mooted during
the last sitting, it was terminated early and ‘cooperative’ MPs given
“I’ve never in my life heard any PNG politician so nakedly promoting himself,” said Sir Mekere. “To say the LNG [liquefied natural gas] project depends on him is utter nonsense. Does he think Papua New Guineans are so naive or stupid to believe him?
“Come out, Arthur, and tell the people [who are] the owners of the gas resources what you and your father agreed to give away.
“All he’s doing is desperately trying to shore up public support with a vote of no-confidence looming,” he said.
Meanwhile, former prime minister and
Sir Julius said at independence in 1975 PNG ranked 77th out of 150 countries. By 1990 it had dropped to 105th.
“By 2004, PNG was 139th and by 2008 we had dropped another 10 places to 149th. Think about this, in only 33 years PNG had been eclipsed by over 70 countries,” he said.
“We need to rethink how government works in PNG as the government closest to the people is the [local level] government that knows the needs of the people and not the one located in Waigani,” Sir Julius said