Tiensten sacked

Main Stories, National

MEMBER for Pomio and National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten has been sacked as a member of the National Alliance Party by the East New Britain Party Branch.
Mr Tiensten arrived back from Brisbane yesterday afternoon to the shocking news, which has the potential to unsettle the ruling party in the New Guinea Islands region.
East New Britain and the island region are considered a stronghold area for the National Alliance.
But a source said there was a rift developing involving some powerful backers of the party from the area, and the provincial NA branch had to act.
Mr Tiensten learnt of his dumping through a media release, and blamed “so called foundation NA members” from the province.
He said he would be seeking legal advice on whether the action of the NA branch under the party’s constitution was legal or not.
“These are the work of desperate power hungry people who use cowardice tactics to pursue personal interest,” Mr Tiensten said.
This will be the first time in the history of PNG’s short political history for a party branch to sack its own NA deputy leader for New Guinea Islands, a senior Minister and Leader of Government Business.
Mr Tiensten’s sacking was announced by president of the National Alliance Party branch in East New Britain John Itinge after a meeting by foundation members, who unanimously agreed to his expulsion.Mr Itinge said the meeting resolved to expel the MP from NA   ENB Branch; to recommend to the National Executive to expel the member in accordance with the NA Party constitution section 17 (1) a, b; to have the Prime Minister expel the member from the National Planning and District Development Ministry now; and not to allocate the member for Pomio another ministry within the Government.
No reasons were given for the expulsion of the minister from the party with Mr Itinge only explaining that section 17 of the National Alliance Party constitution highlights Disciplining of Members and sub-section 1, a, says where a member “has persistently refused or neglected to comply with a provision or provisions of this constitution, or b, “has persistently and willfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the party, the National Executive Committee may, expel the member from the party”.
He added that the resolutions of the party branch had been forwarded to the Prime Minister as party leader and the president of National Alliance Simon Kaiwi.
He said the member was expelled from the ENB Party branch as of 4pm on Tuesday and was effective forthwith.
Mr Tiensten said his expulsion was regrettable as new developments were taking place in the province as well as the country.
“I am shocked over this and will be seeking legal advice because I feel that I have been denied natural justice and denied my right as the mandated leader of the people of Pomio. These are none mandated leaders trying to remove me,” he said
“Such a move is orchestrated by a few power hungry individuals who have failed to recognise the member for Pomio for delivering very important impact projects including the LNG.
“I can conclude that the move is from pure jealousy by so-called National Alliance foundation members of East New Britain who fail to grow National Alliance in the region. These same people have continued to pursue individual interest ahead of regional and national interest.”
Mr Tiensten declined to name who those people were.