By REBECCA KUKU
PRIME Minister James Marape says the coalition government he leads currently has 91 MPs – a number he wants to maintain up to the 2022 general election “and beyond”.
He met his coalition MPs yesterday at Parliament House and agreed on a plan on their way forward.
“We are going deeper and into the future,” Marape told The National yesterday.
Yesterday, on behalf of his Pangu Pati, he signed a memorandum of agreement with Bulolo MP Sam Basil, the leader of the United Labour Party (ULP).
He was also going to sign a similar agreement yesterday with Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch, the leader of the National Alliance Party (NAP).
Basil is the National Planning and Monitoring Minister while Pruaitch is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
“If the 2022 general election comes and the ULP has more numbers, than Pangu will support them in getting the prime minister’s seat. And if the numbers are with Pangu, then ULP will support us. The same applies for our other coalition parties as well.”
Marape said the 91 MPs were mostly from Pangu (29), NAP (10), ULP (9), United Resources Party (9), People’s Party (6), People’s Progress Party (4), National Party (2), and the four single-MP parties Madang MP Bryan Kramer, Northern Governor Gary Juffa, Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu and THE Party’s Jeoffrey Komal. He said Independent MPs and others from small parties make up the coalition.
“So we are intact. We have always been intact,” he said.
The agreement signed with the coalition partners “clears the path for a partnership leading into the 2022 general election and beyond”.
Basil thanked Marape for the signing of the agreement saying it was time to have political stability to restore the faith of the people and the business community in the Government.
Marape was elected on May 30 last year. His Government is allowed to run for 18 months before any attempt to move a vote of no confidence against it can be entertained by Parliament.
By REBECCA KUKU