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THE Alotau camp claims it has 54 MPs-elect, while the Kokopo camp lists 33, as the two groups try to reach the minimum 56 to form the government this week.
With the 10th Parliament now gazetted to have its first sitting on Wednesday, People’s National Congress Party leader Peter O’Neill arrived in Alotau late yesterday confident the party and its coalition partners would add more seats to their total.
“We’ve got 10 more declarations to go and we’re confident that our members and coalition partners will do well and increase our numbers,” he said.
In Kokopo, the parties led by the National Alliance and Pangu Pati welcomed five more MPs-elect yesterday afternoon including Lae’s John Rossi, who stood as an Independent.
In a gazettal notice released from Government House last Friday, Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae said Parliament would have its first sitting at 10am on Wednesday.
Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato had returned 80 writs to Sir Bob last Friday and hopes to return the remaining 31 before Wednesday.
As at 6pm yesterday, only 10 seats were yet to be declared.
The Speaker and Prime Minister will be elected during the first sitting.
To begin the formal proceedings on Wednesday, the acting Clerk to Parliament Kala Aufa will make a statement and read the national gazette notice calling Parliament to meet.
Then the Sergeant-at-Arms will announce the arrival of Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and conducts him to the Speaker’s chair.
After a prayer, Sir Salamo will hand the commission from Sir Bob to the Sheriff of Papua New Guinea, who then passes it to Aufa to read to Parliament.
Aufa then lays on the table the writs for the election and informs members to stand in their places and make their declarations before Sir Salamo.
Aufa will then call on MPs to come forward in the manner in which their electorates are announced to sign the declarations before Sir Salamo.
He then conducts the election of the Speaker. The elected Speaker is conducted to the chair by the proposer and the seconder, and takes the chair. The Speaker-elect thanks MPs, Parliament is then suspended, as he proceeds to Government House to present himself to Sir Bob.
Sir Bob will administer the Declaration of Office of the Speaker and hands him a commission authorising him to administer the Declaration of Loyalty and the Declaration of Office of MPs.
The Speaker then returns to Parliament. The session resumes with the election of the Prime Minister.
The nominee who receives the most votes will be declared the Prime Minister-elect.
He is then conducted to the PM’s chair by the proposer and seconder, and is congratulated by the Speaker.
Party leaders and MPs may then congratulate the PM-elect, who then proceeds to Government House to present himself to Sir Bob.
Parliament is then adjourned for two weeks.

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