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[alpha] INSIGHT - PNG - Update - CN65

Released on 2012-02-29 14:00 GMT

Email-ID 100230
Date 2011-08-04 14:04:27
**If we care at all about writing on the PNG, this is unique insight that
will be difficult to get elsewhere. If we have a legit angle to write I
would definitely do so and use this soon before it becomes common

ATTRIBUTION: Australian contact connected with the government and
natural resources (also working with the PNG government on development
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Former Australian Senator

After a day and a half with my PNG chums, who were down for the Oxford
dinner at the Sydney Opera House, I can now give you a summary of what
happened in PNG.
The then acting-PM, Sam Abal, and Foreign Minister, Don Polye, are both
Engans (i.e. from Enga, a region in the Highlands). Engans are
notoriously fractious types. Abal and Polye had a falling out, and it
ripped apart the government.
Everyone in the government got fed up with this, and it led to huge
dissatisfaction. On top of that, Abal moved to shift Peter O'Neill from
the Treasury portfolio. That was the catalyst for action.
The other thing is that Somare has been absent from Parliament in
Singapore getting medical treatment for more than 90 days. They never got
leave from Parliament, however, and this theoretically makes the PM's
position vacant.
A group of about four or five from the political class, led by one of our
business associates (won't say who) helped put the numbers together for a
change of government. He aid the concern was to not just get a majority,
but a thumping majority so the government would be able to move forward
with confidence.
The cabinet is being put together by the weekend. The three candidates
for Treasurer are Sir Puka Temu, Bart Philemon, and Sir Mekere Morauta.
Word is that it with be either Puka or Mekere. Mekere would be
fantastic. He is a former PM, has gravitas, and is very smart.
Abal is going to the High Court claiming the motion of no confidence was
unconstitutional. It won't make much difference. O'Neill has the numbers
to run the motion again if there is any problem with the proceedings in
Parliament. He will out in the end.
Next item of business will be sorting out the status of Sir Michael
I think there will be much more stability until next year's election, even
if the PM is no cleaner than his predecessor. That is a step in the right
direction up there.

Jennifer Richmond
China Director
Director of International Projects
(512) 422-9335


Benjamin Preisler
+216 22 73 23 19