By STAFF REPORTERS
THE Opposition has withdrawn the vote of no-confidence motion it filed 14 days ago, and is returning to the drawing board to devise a new plan to oust Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch has written to the acting Clerk to Parliament to have the motion withdrawn. It was to have gone before the Private Business Committee on Wednesday next week for vetting to decide whether it should be tabled in the House which resumes sitting from next Tuesday.
Pruaitch said the withdrawal of the motion was with the concurrence of Tari Pori MP James Marape, the Opposition group’s nominee for prime minister.
“We are of the view that the position needs to be brought back to the caucus,” he said.
“(We plan to) invite members of Parliament, particularly those on the Government side, to move to the Opposition (before we) determine our nominee for prime minister.” He thanked Marape for withdrawing his name as the nominee to replace O’Neill.
“I’m happy that the alternative government caucus has taken that decision and honourable Marape has kindly assisted by agreeing (to withdraw his nomination). We are aware that the position does not belong to anyone person. It belongs to the nation.”
Pruaitch said the alternative government wanted to find a “suitable leadership to address many mismanagement issues (in Government)”.
“We hope that when the alternative government finally finds a candidate, we can restructure a new government and address some of these issues,” he said.
Marape said being nominated for prime minister was not on his mind when he resigned from the Government in April.
But his name was put forward when the Opposition camp wanted someone to be nominated for the post.
He received the support of senior MPs such as Sir Peter Ipatas, Sir Puka Temu and Sir Mekere Morauta.
“We are a nation of so many blessings but the mindset of the O’Neill-led Government continues to suppress the propensity of our country from getting better,” he said.
In response, O’Neill said in a statement yesterday that Marape’s claims were “not genuine”, “misleading and politically-motivated”.
“This is a desperate and last-ditch attempt in the public arena aimed at trying to convince leaders to support his ambitions,” O’Neill said.
“In the background he is still trying to convince leaders to support his personal ambitions to change the Government that has been mandated by the people.
“He has made excuses about policy consultation while he was in Government. This is simply grandstanding.”
By STAFF REPORTERS