O’Neill’s camp fends off challenge with numbers


NATIONAL Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch says his group fell short of the number required to oust the ruling party in the formation of the government.
Pruaitch was explaining why his 46-member group failed to nominate a candidate for the prime minister in Parliament yesterday.
He told The National that the People’s National Congress Party had already been invited by Government House to form the government because it had the highest number of MPs.
“If they did not have the numbers, we would then have the chance to nominate someone,” Pruaitch said.
“They had the numbers. We were only waiting.
“In the event that they did not have the numbers, then we would have had the opportunity.”
Pruaitch’s group arrived back in Port Moresby from their camp in Kokopo on Tuesday afternoon.
When the Speaker Job Pomat called for nominations for prime minister, Abau MP Sir Puka Temu nominated Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill.
He was seconded by Tari-Pori MP James Marape.
Marape then moved that the nomination be closed.
There was silence in the chamber with minimal objections from the opposition benches.
O’Neill received 60 votes.
He was later declared prime minister by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae at Government House.

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