Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare survived a push of no confidence after four of his government’s cabinet ministers and the deputy Prime Minister defected to the opposition ranks.
The defection pre-empted an expected push to oust Sir Michael and his party from PNG’s treasury benches.
But those behind the political coup did not move fast enough, and by Tuesday Sir Michael had sured up supporters ensuring he had the numbers to avoid and survive a vote of no confidence in the PNG Parliament.
On Monday night, the Deputy Prime Minister Dr Puka Temu and his supporters expected to overwhelm Sir Michael, weakening his grip on the Melanesian nation’s Parliament. But when the votes were cast, Sir Michael’s government had the support of 60 MPs out of 109. In the end, Temu did not put the vote of no confidence to the test.
ABC news reported Tuesday night that heavily armed PNG troops were patrolling the Parliament precinct. The gates outside Parliament were bolted to prevent the public from entering.