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The National Alliance (NA) Party in Papua New Guinea has announced the party’s withdrawal and resignation of all its ministers in government.
NA Party leader and former treasury minister Patrick Pruaitch said the NA parliamentary wing unanimously agreed to withdraw from the coalition government following the sidelining of the party leader.
The parliamentary wing that attended the meeting Tuesday to announce the withdrawal included Pruaitch, Sir Michael Somare, Deputy Speaker John Simon, Jim Simatab, Amkat Mai, Salio Waipo, Richard Mendani, party officials and candidates, including party president Walter Schnaubelt.
Schnaubelt said after the 2012 general election, PNC won the mandate to form the government and National Alliance was the first political party to be extended the invitation to form the government with PNC.
“By accepting the invitation, NA committed itself to honour the mandate the people of PNG gave to PNC for five years, the term ended when the writs were issued on the April 20, 2017.
“During that five years NA did everything in good times and bad times to support the PNC-led government. Our yes was a yes and our no was a no, we respect the prime minister, and he has the powers to commission and decommission any minister.”
Schnaubelt said NA Party parliamentary leader was sidelined last week and the executives met and decided that sidelining the parliamentary leader was also a decision to sideline the Party.
Pruaitch said the decision to sideline him is saying to National Alliance that “it is time we break this marriage and move on.
“It is now an opportunity for National Alliance to go to the polls and seek the mandate from our people, and we are moving on as a party to try and win enough seats to form the next government.
“A lot of people will be asking questions, why now, as you know NA Party is very supportive of stability in our country. We have stayed true to our words in terms of our Alotau Accord, we have remained until recently when PM and I had different views in terms of managing the economy.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the decision by the parliamentary wing of the National Alliance party to withdraw from the government in the lead-up to the elections.
“The decision has been expected for some time, and the party continuing in the government would have been hypocritical considering recent outbursts by some members,” O’Neill said.
“We thank them for their support over the past five years and their commitment to the policies and economic decisions of the government.
“The polices of the PNC-led government are the policies that NA members voted for and supported in Parliament,” he said in a statement.
“Their actions and comments during the course of this election campaign clearly reflect their current mind-set, where political convenience is being placed ahead of national interest.
“Either their hearts are not in the positions that they had been when they supported government policies over the past five years, or they are now playing political games.
“The people of our nation want to hear genuine and honest policy debate, they do not want to hear fence-sitters who will change their views for political convenience.
“So while some candidates might be tempted to now attack the same policies they once passionately supported, in doing so, they are only harming their own credibility.
“We wish them well over the elections in the coming weeks,” he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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