By REBECCA KUKU
NATIONAL Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch is expected to be given a ministerial portfolio soon as Prime Minister James Marape works on consolidating the coalition he leads, a Government source says.
No comment could be obtained from Marape last night. But the source well-versed with developments in the coalition confirmed that the announcement could be made as early as this week.
Aitape-Lumi MP Pruaitch, who was the Opposition Leader until last month when he crossed the floor with his party MPs, had served as treasurer in the previous government led by Peter O’Neill.
According to the Registrar of Political Parties, the National Alliance party has 12 MPs which is the third largest group in the coalition.
Pangu Pati of which Marape is a member has 23 and O’Neill’s People’s National Congress Party has 22. Some MPs recently changed parties without formally informing the registrar.
Pruaitch and his team were seated in the Government benches of Parliament during yesterday’s sitting.
The fourth biggest party in the government coalition is the United Resources Party led by Mt Hagen MP William Duma who is likely to be given a Cabinet position too.
In another development yesterday, two political parties signed an agreement to continue their support for the Marape-led Government right through to the 2022 general election.
Our Development Party leader Charles Abel and Social Democratic Party leader Powes Parkop signed the deal in Port Moresby yesterday.
Present was PNG Country Party leader and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta.
Abel said the signing was a commitment to provide stability to Marape, support constructive policy development and prepare for the next general election.
“The leaders in this alliance, together with the PNGCP, represent three former deputy prime ministers, three governors and MPs of large rural and urban electorates.
“We collectively are about action-oriented (and) accountable leadership.” He said Parkop has transformed the social and infrastructure landscape of Port Moresby.
Parkop pledged his commitment to work together in support of the current government.
“Thinking in terms of the interest of the country and our people and the government, we have decided that it’s good for us to work with similar parties and leadership with similar ideas. We are pleased to sign this agreement so we all work together,” he said.
Parkop said discussions on amalgamating the three parties would continue.
Haiveta said the team consisted like-minded individuals with little parties that had a history of achievements.
“Together with our parties and aspirations and across our alliance before the elections will make one or two policies as we go forward.”
Abau MP Sir Puka Temu said the alliance was a good move.
“Our country needs good policies but more importantly drivers and implementers. We believe that this is a formidable team that will support our prime minster and look forward to massive numbers in 2022.”
By REBECCA KUKU