PNC: Bring it on

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The National, Thursday July 14th, 2016

THE 59 MPs of the ruling People’s National Congress Party are confident of defeating the Opposition motion on a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, when Parliament resumes tomorrow.
Leader of Government business James Marape, also the Finance Minister, told The National yesterday that the party MPs had pledged their commitment to party solidarity, “despite inducements and offers of ministries by the Opposition”.
“Our Members of Parliament are very intelligent and have assessed demeanour, character and wisdom of leaders who claim to possess characteristics of becoming Prime Minister,” he said.
“They have also seen how our Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has been leading in trying times.
“Without pre-empting the outcome of parliamentary procedures and processes, I am confident that the PNC Party caucus that meets tomorrow evening (today) will unanimously endorse our leader and prime minister.
“Hence we are confident of going into Friday’s session to affirm our mandate to govern.”
He said the Government respected the judiciary and would comply with lawful directions, issued by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, for Parliament to reconvene.
“The Supreme Court has issued specific orders, one of which is to ensure the motion of no confidence as the first business when Parliament meets,” Marape said in an email to The National.
“We will honour that order and I wish the alternate candidate Honourable Don Polye all the very best.”
He said the party continued to get “positive vibes from our coalition partners”.
“We see this as an opportunity to find out who our true friends are in preparation for the 2017 elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, People’s Progress Party leader Ben Micah yesterday urged coalition MPs to think about the potential chaos looming on the streets as they prepared for the no-confidence motion tomorrow.
He said they should refrain from engaging in a “tug-of-war” with the public over who should be prime minister.
“A climate of order and respect must be in the communities, which will result in peace and calm in our towns and out cities,” Micah said.
“I think it is irresponsible for politicians and for members of the public to continue this tug-of-war over the position of the prime minister.
“That will only result in further bloodshed, trouble and ethnic conflicts – disaster and chaos.