THE National Alliance party is moving its heavyweights up to the Highlands starting this week to shore up support for Don Polye, their man in the Kandep Open by-election in Enga province.
Mr Polye held the seat until he was ousted through an election petition in the National Court two months ago.
The court ordered a by-election, which will be held on Nov 7.
Mr Polye and petitioner Alfred Manase are among 15 candidates vying for the seat.
Political parties both in Government and in the Opposition seem to have shied away from this by-election.
The National Alliance is the only party fielding a candidate.
The rest are independents.
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and his deputy, Sir Puka Temu, will be leading a full team of National Alliance ministers and MPs in a show of force in the Highlands region.
Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, who is also deputy leader (Momase), and National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten, who is also deputy leader (New Guinea Islands), are scheduled to kick-start the campaign with a rally at the Pope John Paul Oval in Mt Hagen tomorrow.
The Prime Minister is expected to address a rally at Titip Nage, in Kandep, next Wednesday and Sir Puka will be in Wabag next Friday to address another rally planned for that area.
The Highlands NA executives started off the campaign with a meeting in Banz yesterday and will host a strategic partners’ corporate dinner tonight at the Highlander Hotel in Mt Hagen in a fundraising drive for the by-election.
Interim NA Highlands leader and Education Minister James Marape, who is heading the re-election campaign of their former leader, will open the Togoba-Minimb road and the Nanga Emmanuel Primary School today.
Mr Marape could not be reached for comments but according to a notice in the media, the campaign programme started yesterday and ends next Friday on the eve of polling.
Polling for Kandep by-election will start on Nov 7 and end on Nov 13.
A total of 15 candidates have nominated to contest.
The candidates and their draws are Peter Mission Yaki (Box 10), Win Amos (11), Luke Alfred Manase (12), Kenneth Yonge Andrew (13), Lesri Mose Yaka (14), Don Pomb Polye (15), Buka Piri (16), Be Pepo (17), Kunda Lea (18), Wage Moses Liu (19), India Rasta Pupakai (20), Depo Danny Kaundu (21), Leo Limbo (22), Robin Aipi Kurum (23) and Herman Yamugi Anep (24).