By VANESSA NIKEN
VANIMO-Green MP Belden Namah, elected Opposition Leader for the third time in his 12-year career as a parliamentarian yesterday, says the Government is “disorganised” and “unworkable”.
Despite having only five MPs including himself on the Opposition benches, the firebrand politician vows to keep the James Marape-led coalition government on its toes in the 111-member House.
“The (five) members who remain in Opposition to this disorganised government are standing up for what we believe in,” he said.
“We may be small in number but we are united by conviction and desire to develop our country and will hold this government to account.”
He called the government an “unworkable coalition of members with no common interest or vision, who spend the day arguing among themselves and messing up the affairs of the country”.
The other MPs in Opposition are Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat (deputy Opposition Leader), Kandrian-Gloucester MP Joseph Lelang, Kerema MP Richard Mendani and West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou.
Wouwou however said he was still undecided about which side he would move to.
His National Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch crossed the floor to the government benches on Tuesday with 18 party MPs.
No comment could be obtained yesterday from Marape and Pruaitch on Namah’s statement.
Namah said the Marape-led government came to power “with a lot of hope and promises, only to disappoint with its decisiveness and confusion”.
“We have seen members of Parliament who have no policy agenda in common, only a lust for power and this is a recipe for disaster for our country,” he said.
As the alternative government, Namah said the Opposition would:
- Oppose the Government’s plan to stop free education but to improve the quality of education, improve the curriculum and fast-track the implementation of the standard-based education;
- block any plans to cut back on healthcare funding, and make sure that medicine and supplies are better managed;
- stop corrupt practices and nepotism in the appointment of public servants including those in the disciplined forces;
- increase the strength of the police force to more than 10,000 to cater for the increasing population, and improve police training; and,
- Stop the wastage, cut back on borrowings, and manage the budget better.
He also confirmed that the Opposition case in the Supreme Court challenging the legality of the election of Marape as prime minister on May 31 would be continued.
“The reference was filed by the Leader of the Opposition (Pruaitch) and not by an individual person,” Namah said.
“The Prime Minister should have nothing to fear from the court process and should believe in the impartiality of our judiciary,” Namah said.
He urged the Government to “take on board” some of the policies suggested by the Opposition.