Posted By Staff Reporter
Today the nation witness former Prime Minister Peter O'Neill secret bid to be re-elected shut down following his nomination by Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch and Belden Namah.
Straight after the Speaker for Parliament Job Pomat called for nominations for the Prime Minister, Governor for Enga Sir Peter Ipatas nominated Member for Tari Pori Open, James Marape, and Governor for Manus, Charlie Benjamin seconded the nomination.
Speaker then asked Marape whether he accepted the nomination, which he replied yes.
Seconds later, what appeared to be a planned move, Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch nominated Peter O'Neill, there was a long pause before it was seconded by Belden Namah.
O'Neill responded by saying he felt privileged and gracefully accepted the nomination.
However what O'Neill didn't expect was that Opposition would also nominate Sir Mekere Morauta as a third nominee.
It was at this point it became evident to O'Neill he had been deceived so he quickly withdrew his name as a nominee.
Why did the Opposition nominate Peter O'Neill?
With three nominees, the Standing Orders (procedures) of Parliament state that in the case of three or more nominations, Members shall vote by dividing and moving to positions indicated by the Speaker.
Members of Parliament would have had to divide and move to either Government, Opposition or Middle benches.
In the event one of nominees secured the majority 56 votes, he would have be declared the winner.
However if no nominee received a majority of the votes, then third placed nominee would be eliminated and the members who voted for him would be asked to choose between the remaining two and the nominee who secures the majority 56 votes is declared the winner.
So nominating O'Neill the Government numbers would be divided between Marape and O'Neill where some members in the Government who were party to this scheme would have voted for Sir Mekere, who already had the backing of 24 Opposition Members. Add to this 9 URP Members, Chan, Wingti and Yama would mean he would finish in either 1st or 2nd place.
This would have resulted in either O'Neill or Marape being eliminated where the remaining Members would back Mekere.
In my view the whole scheme was based on deceit and therefore set to fail from the start, and fail it did.
In the end Marape secured 101 votes and Sir Mekere polling just 8 votes.
However, it achieved two important issues, it exposed O'Neill was scheming to back stab Marape and the second you just can't trust anyone in PNG politics, Opposition or Government.
So whatever arrangement O'Neill may have had with Marape just got scrapped.
While many hold the view O'Neill is a master tactician I've always said he is as dumb as they come and in this case a victim of the carrot and donkey strategy.
To think this is only one of the many instances of deceit and backstabbing that went on in the lead up the election of a new Prime Minister.
Interesting reading ahead...