By HELEN TARAWA
THE National Alliance (NA) Party remains intact despite its 12 MPs split between the Government and Opposition camps, says general-secretary Walter Schnaubelt.
Party leader Patrick Pruaitch and five MPs have joined the Opposition. Schnaubelt and four others are remaining with the Government. The 12th MP, Sir Mekere Morauta, is overseas.
Schnaubelt, also the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, told The National that the party was “grooming leaders to be transparent and accountable”.
He said his group on the government side “respects and understands why party leader and Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch joined the opposition and ended up in the Vanimo camp”.
“As a fourth-termer in parliament, he has all the rights to vie for the prime ministership. Right or wrong is for him to determine,” he said.
“The NA Party as a whole is still intact and not split as some would like to claim. The NA Party is here to stay. So grooming our leaders to be transparent, accountable and responsible is to allow individual opinions to be heard, flourished and respected is the National Alliance way.”
It is the second largest party in the coalition government led by Prime Minister James Marape.
Pruaitch led the NA MPs from the Opposition to join the Government in September last year to bolster Marape’s numbers in Parliament. Four were appointed to Cabinet – Pruaitch as Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Schnaubelt, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and Communications and Information Technology Minister Timothy Masiu.
By HELEN TARAWA