Rebel PNG MPs want to join PNC Party

THE three ministers who resigned this week from the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party  in PNG are most likely to join Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s People’s National Congress Party, the National Newspaper reports.
Forests Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, Labour and Employment Minister Benjamin Poponawa and Higher Education Minister Delilah Gore announced their resignation at a press conference on Tuesday but did not reveal which party or parties they would join.
However, a well-placed coalition source told The National yesterday the ministers were destined to join PNC because that would guarantee their positions as ministers in the O’Neill cabinet.
Ijivitari MP and former Higher Education Minister David Arore resigned from THE Party and is expected to move with the ministers to PNC.
“They have only PNC and the People’s Progress Party to choose from. The other coalition partner, National Alliance, is the party that they left in 2011 to form THE Party so they can’t go back there,” the source said.
He said if they chose to join PPP, NA or another party they would have to relinquish their ministries which were allocated to THE Party under the Alotau Accord.
“They are unlikely to relinquish their ministries and only the prime minister can guarantee that they remain ministers. Therefore, they have little or no choice but to join PNC,” the source said.
Registrar of Political Parties, Dr Alphonse Gelu said on Wednesday that he did not recognise their resignations as none of the four MPs had complied with the relevant administrative process.
THE Party disputed the resignations, saying they were still members of the party regardless of whether they liked it.
Meanwhile, new PPP leader Ben Micah said last night he had not been approached by the four MPs to join his party.
Micah indicated that while his party’s door was open, he did
not expect the four MPs to join them.
The Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister had earlier this week denied this newspaper’s report that he was likely to replace Leo Dion as deputy prime minister in a major cabinet reshuffle
that is rumoured to take place this month.
Micah said it was the prime minister’s prerogative to appoint his deputy and make changes to his ministerial team.
O’Neill dismissed the report, saying Dion’s position was secure and that there would be no more cabinet reshuffles during the rest of the Government’s term in office.
 
The National
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