LISA PAGELIO | NBC News PNG
CARETAKER PRIME MINISTER Peter O'Neill said today there are “well over 68 members in the Alotau camp”, where he has set up his headquarters while trying to form a coalition government for Papua New Guinea.
Mr O’Neill says they are ready to form government and will not let the people of Papua New Guinea down.
On Friday, the arrival of 26 members in Alotau included Sir Julius Chan, Sir Puka Temu and Patrick Pruaitch. Others who arrived on that same day include two URP members from South Bougainville and Menyamya, Benjamin Philip and other smaller party leaders.
Mr O’Neill assured all present that the People’s National Congress will work closely with them to ensure the government that is formed is stable, united and that there will be a reconciliation of past differences.
Mr O’Neill also thanked senior party leaders and the three former Prime Ministers (Sir Julius Chan, Paias Wingti and Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare) for showing confidence in him and for giving him their support.
He said the Alotau camp is ready and they are looking forward to the invitation from the Governor General to form the next government.
Meanwhile, PNG Party leader Belden Namah is not allowing the numbers game to deter his resolve to pull the government from under O'Neill's feet.
Yet again he's boldly predicted his chances are huge - whether he gets there or places someone on top instead.
He cautioned O'Neill about the people he's surrounded himself with, saying they were not there during the past 10 turbulent months.
"Prime Ministers are elected on the eleventh-hour as members of parliament enter the floor,” Namah said.
“And with my faith and trust in God, I will have the numbers to form the next government. If I don't, I will still form government and make somebody else prime minister. I can do it and I will do it, I've done it."