As of Tuesday 27 August, 7 Members of the Opposition joined the Marape Steven Government. They are as follows;
1) Ian-Ling Stucky – Kavieng MP
2) Walter Schnaublet – Namatanai MP
3) Allan Bird – Governor East Sepik
4) Timothy Masiu – South ABG MP
5) William Naken – North ABG MP
6) Gary Juffa – Governor for Oro
7) Sir Mekere Morauta – Moresby NE MP
Ian Ling-Stucky was appointed to cabinet as Treasurer, Sam Basil was moved to National Planning and Richard Maru reportedly de-commissioned.
Hon Prime Minister James Marape on Tuesday announced the changes, including the de-commissioning of Richard Maru as a Minister of State. PM Marape said on a Facebook statement that “Regrettably, this comes as a result of ongoing collaboration with Parliamentary Leader of PNC Party Hon. Peter O’Neill, as well as key leaders in opposition including Hon. Patrick Pruaitch and Hon. Belden Namah, to actively undermine the Marape-Steven Government.”
The PM continued to say that “After 89 days in office, it has become clear to the Pangu Party that I co-lead that we need to break free of the PNC Party and its negative influence. The Take Back PNG agenda requires a unified team of like-minded leaders, and it is now clear that this requires freedom for Pangu to lead with its new and bold identity.”
Concurrently, former PM Peter O’Neill put out a press statement claiming that Marape was “taking PNG backwards”, whilst Allan Bird, Governor East Sepik stated to his East Sepik people that “PMJM wants us to build the economy of Sepik to support the country. His views are consistent with mine and I want to work with him for all our benefit.”
PNG parliament then sat at 2pm Tuesday afternoon which saw the new treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey sitting between two former treasurers in Abel and Basil, other Opposition members moving over to the Government side, whilst former PM O’Neill was reportedly not seen at the sitting.
Parliament sits again this morning.