The National, Wednesday July 1st, 2012
By ZACHERY PER
TWO MPs from Eastern Highlands said to be favouring the Eastern bloc group teamed up with Peter O’Neill soon after signing their declarations yesterday.
Newly elected Kainantu and Daulo MPs Ron Ganarafo and Johnson Tuke boarded a Tropic Air plane bound for Alotau at Goroka airport at about 5.10pm yesterday.
Unggai-Bena MP Benny Allan, who initiated the East Highlands group, said he had secured six out of the nine MPs from the province to join the Alotau camp.
He said MPs elect for Henganofi Robert Atiafa, Lufa’s Jeffery Kuave, Okapa’s Isaac Waigavara and he were heading to Alotau yesterday.
“We want to team up with O’Neill’s PNC party to be in the government to get maximum benefits for our people,” Allan said.
New Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa is believed to be attending a family commitment and could join them later.
The position of new Obura-Wonenara MP Mehrra Minne Kipefa was not known yesterday.
Allan said the new MPs from Eastern Highlands had seen the need to move as a united force to solicit greater benefits from the government for the province.
The departure of the MPs from Eastern Highlands came on the eve of the formation of the Eastern bloc in Goroka by new MPs from Jiwaka and Chimbu.
Meanwhile, about 20 minutes after the departure of Ganarafo and Tuke, leader of PNG Party Belden Namah touched down with Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape to possibly lure the Eastern bloc MPs.