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By Michael Asagoni / Jerry Tave / Celina Korei / Lisa Pagelio – (NBC News) Sunday 22nd July 2012
A new development has emerged which could throw the formation of a new government into chaos.
This was brought to light following a move by a regional candidate in West Sepik Province to shift his political party alliance from Triumph Heritage Empowerment to PNG Party.
Leading candidate, Amkat Mai, has announced his decision to move, even before the completion of primary votes count and before the elimination process begins, declaring himself as well as the new Governor of West Sepik Province.
Reacting to this, Registrar of Political Parties and candidates, Dr Alphonse Gelu, says there’s nothing stopping this candidate and others to shift party alliances as a result of the Supreme Court ruling which nullified certain provisions of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and candidates.
“Despite being endorsed by a party but you want to shift alliances to another, em prerogative blo individual member nau. So that’s the danger that we were saying that, that’s what will happen. My office, we cannot do anything about this. We are powerless. Before that Supreme Court ruling, we can impose penalties but right now, we can’t. Political candidate are not bound in any way to stick to a party.”
Under the integrity law, the party with the highest number of winning candidates from the national elections will be invited by the Governor General to form the new government.
Currently, the Peoples National Congress Party of Peter O’Neill leads with 13 winning candidates.
Even if O’Neill is invited by the Governor General to form government with the final outcome still in his party’s favor, he may finally realize he does not have the numbers to do so, depending if the political horse-trading during this period works out for him.
We are reliably informed, a few winning candidates from other political parties are heading to team up with Mr Namah and his PNG Party members.