Opposition tests its numbers

BY STANLEY NONDOL

THE Opposition tested its numbers on the floor of parliament in a series of motions including the motion to vote the Speaker Job Pomat out which they were outmuscled by O’Neill group in a 59-50 vote before parliament was adjourned for three weeks.

The opposition out, describing the 59 -50 votes in favor of government as just a start of the process and they will not deviate from the course.

Opposition strongman Kereng Kua and Alternative Prime Minister Nominee James Marape said it was the beginning of the process and the three week adjournment gives them the good opportunity to reconfigure their coalition of like-minded leaders and finding the right leaders to make the right combination for a better government

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the “opposition strategy was to test their numbers and they brought quiet a good number”.

Mr O’Neill maintained that he will not resign from the position of Prime Minister and urged he opposition o bring their number and test him anytime and remove him democratically from the house.

Last Tuesday, Mr O’Neill government showed it had the numbers to continue to run the country when opposition tested its strength on the floor of parliament with vote take in a series of division winning by 59-50 including the vote taken to replace the speaker Job Pomat.

Among the four motions voted in favor of the government with 59-50 votes was the motion that voted out two Pirate Business Committee members. Southern Highlands Governor William Powi and Hela Governor Philip Undialu. They were replaced by Henganofi MP Robert Atiyafa and Mul- Baiyer MP Koi Trape..

The opposition tried to vote Parliament Speaker Job Pomat out by way of secret ballot. The speaker allowed the vote but not in secret ballot. The opposition MPs abstained from voting when secret ballot vote on the speaker was not allowed. The government defeated the motion 70-0 vote.Two opposition bench MPs, Morobe Governor Ginson Soanu and Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin voted with the government.

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch said he moved the motion because the Speakers’ integrity and independence had been compromised because he was the deputy leader of the Peopes ruling PNC Party. Opposition nominated Maprik MP John Simon to be speaker.

The motion was defeated 60-0 vote with two MPs on the opposition bench Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin and Morobe Governor Ginson Soanu voted with the government.

After the heated debate on a series of questions raised by the Member for Kavieng Ian –Ling Stucky during question time and voting on a several motions, the government took advantage of its numbers and adjourned the parliament to May 28 at 2pm.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill straight after the adjournment told media that he will make appoints to the ministries position left vacant by his government MPs and get the house in order with the new ministers and will be fully briefed on the affairs of the respective departments..

Asked if the parliament was adjourned to avoid the vote of no confidence, Mr O’Neill maintained that some department were without Ministers and the country in the last three weeks and he needed time to get them back to business.

On the leadership of PNC, O’Neill said there were in-house issues to do with the party which resulted in some members resigned, adding that much of the problem were in his own PNC Party.

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