SACKED FORMER GOVERNMENT MINISTERS TEAM UP TO OVERTHROW OPPOSITION LEADER

By BRIAN EPEKONE - PNGBLOGS Exclusive

Sacked from O’Neill’s cabinet and after months of hanging around the middle bench to recently joining the opposition; the leader of Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party, Don Polye has “allegedly” made a political move to become PNG’s Opposition Leader.

In a twist of events, Don Polye’s party is split; half his party members are still with the ruling regime being led by Deputy Prime Minister Dion. It is understood Polye and remaining members of his party have teamed up with Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil to vote in Polye as the new Opposition Leader.

In 2011 Sam Basil was part of the O’Neill/Namah cabinet when O’Neill ousted GC Somare to become PM. Earlier this year Sam Basil had resigned from the PNG Party to resurrect & lead the Pangu Party. He was reportedly seen seated in the middle bench, something he has never publicly denied.

Incumbent Opposition Leader Belden Namah was reported absent from the behind the scenes leadership tussle taking place, as was Dr Allan Marat.

Meanwhile the Chief Justice has expedited (within 13 days) the appointment of 3 Judges to hear the Prime Ministers Tribunal. It is not clear if Polye will be called as a witness to this tribunal as he was Treasury Minister at the time. Further Polye is also highly implicated with the Prime Minister in the Paraka Gate scandal.

As the political tussle for power both in the Opposition & Government continue the budget deficit grows. This week Australian Foreign Affairs Minister & Australian Reserve bank Governor met with the Bank of PNG Governor; their meeting focused around the economic challenges and opportunities facing PNG’s economy. This important meeting was not reported widely.

It is unclear how the unfolding of political events in PNG’s opposition & parliament will drive the vibrancy of PNG’s democracy as Poyle is also allegedly implicated in the Paraka Gate scandal.

What’s clear is as usual we the people stand to lose again.