Three PNG MPs defect government amidst vote of no confidence agenda

Belden Namah

Three members of Papua New Guinea parliament have defected from the government to join the opposition as moves aimed at throwing out the Pangu-led government. 

The vote of no confidence agenda is high on the table as parliament prepares to sit for its first session next Tuesday. 

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, Bulolo MP Sam Basil Jr and Vanimo Green MP Belden Namah officially made the announcements of the move this afternoon in Port Moresby. 

They’ve urged other MPs to join in. 

Wewak MP Stanley Mutz Samban, a Social Democratic Party member was also present to witness the announcement but fell short of stating whether he has also moved from his party and out of government. 

Samban said he was only there to witness the announcement by his Governor. 

Prime Minister James Marape made an announcement last month (14 January), revealing a decision to move Namah out of government.

This is the first time Namah faced the media to give his response. 

The three MPs expressed their dissatisfaction in how prime minister Marape is running the country. 

Governor Bird stated among other things that he was tired of defending the government he created because his advice and suggestions were never heard and followed. 

Bird says he has met with his council presidents and the East Sepik provincial administration and the call by his people eight months ago for their advice and have considered that before this announcement. 

Basil Jr also expressed the same sentiments, saying he cannot continue to sit and watch a government who was not considerate to the needs of their people. The trio’s move now brings the number of MPs recent defections from the government to 12 as Pangu remains intact with 53 MPs.