PNG gov't to face no-confidence vote after series of defections

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-06 13:20:00|Editor: Xiang Bo
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SYDNEY, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is set to face a vote of no confidence in his government, after a number of high-profile ministers defected from the party.

According to local newspaper the Post Courier on Monday, opposition parties claimed they have the backing of 57 members of parliament, enough to gain a majority in the 111-seat parliament.

The voting is expected to take place on Tuesday which will result in an immediate change of leadership if the motion carries.

But despite the impending threat to O'Neill, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel said the government still remains intact and is ready to take on the opposition group when the parliament resumes on Tuesday.

"We have the numbers. We have 60 in our camp -- 29 members of the People's National Congress and the others (from) the (coalition partners) United Resource Party, People's Progress Party, Social Democratic Party and the revamped Pangu," he said.

"The numbers are fluid and the government has been put on notice. But I believe we will sustain through this period with our partners."

"For now, we need to get behind each other as a team, support our coalition partners, provide the foundation and maintain stability for the government," he added.

In the capital city of Port Moresby, an extra 1,000 police have been deployed to combat any instances of civil unrest.