Semoso elected as Tiensten’s replacement

National, Normal


MEMBERS of the National Alliance party in the New Guinea Islands region met on Saturday and elected Bougainville Regional MP Fidelis Semoso as the new deputy leader of the party.
Mr Semoso replaces National Planning Minister and Pomio MP Paul Tiensten.
But Mr Tiensten last night rejected this outcome, saying he did not call that meeting and it was illegal.
He described it as a “secret meeting” held behind his back.
He said he arrived at Parliament on Saturday morning for the scheduled meeting, but no one was there.
“They instead held this secret illegal meeting at Crowne Plaza to carry out this business. I’m taking legal action against this move,” Mr Tiensten said.
A press conference was called yesterday afternoon at the Somare Foundation office of Bougainville Affairs to announce Mr Semoso’s leadership.
NA president Simon Kaiwi was at the press conference.
It was announced that Mr Semoso was elected after a special NGI parliamentary wing meeting held at the Crowne Plaza on Saturday.
Those who attended included West New Britain Governor Peter Humphreys, East New Britain Governor Leo Dion and Manus Governor Michael Sapau.
This group is also gunning to have Mr Semoso replace Mr Tiensten as National Planning Minister.
They said they would approach the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare on this.
Mr Semoso said the priority was for the betterment of the NGI region as the regional NA bloc must always strive to be at the forefront in upholding party governance policies and its overall commitment to the ruling NA majority coalition of Government under the leadership of Sir Michael.
Mr Semoso was elected into Parliament in the 2007 general elections as regional member for Bougainville and heads the office of Bougainville affairs in Waigani.