The National, Tuesday July 31st, 2012
PNG Party leader Belden Namah says he will play a major role in the formation of the next government, basing his prediction on the growing number of supporters arriving at his camp at the Rapopo Plantation Resort, East New Britain.
“Whether I am prime minister or I make somebody with the numbers prime minister, we are going to form the next government on the floor of parliament,” a determined Namah said at the Tokua Airport late Sunday afternoon.
Namah had been left in the cold as PNC leader and caretaker Prime Minister Peter O’Neill forged ahead in the numbers game to form the next government with more than 68 MPs said to be in his camp in Alotau.
At a press conference yesterday, Namah, who was O’Neill’s deputy, said more than 50% of sitting MPs lost their seats in the elections.
“That is the people’s statement for change. Papua New Guineans want change,” he said.
“Elected leaders must provide strong, vibrant and determined leadership to uproot the deep and corrupt network of the old guard to effect the people’s desire for change.
“I believe that two-thirds of the government of the last 10 months is intact and we will join hands to form the next government.
“I am prepared to support a government of change.”
Namah arrived in the wake of an early morning earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale that rocked homes in Kokopo.
Instead of dampening their spirits, the already-buoyant Rapopo camp soared with the arrival of leader Namah with additional MPs such as returned Talasea MP and Deputy Speaker Francis Marus, Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape, Goilala MP Daniel Mona and West Sepik Governor-elect Ankap Mai in town.
Namah’s delegation was received at Tokua Airport by an East New Britain provincial government delegation led by Deputy Governor Boniface Setavo, East New Britain provincial police commander Sylvester Kalaut, provincial events coordinator Gordon Gaius and MPs including Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, Bulolo MP Sam Basil and West New Britain Governor-elect Sasindran Muthuvel.