Basil: Why I Crossed
By: CLIFFORD FAIPARIK ( The National )
PANGU Pati leader Sam Basil, after spending the past 10 years in Opposition, says he is “sick and tired” of it and decided with 11 colleagues to join the Government.
“For the last 10 years I have tried to change the Government after the national elections. And when moving a vote of no-confidence, every time I nominate an alternate prime minister and speaker, I always stand up knowing that I don’t have the numbers,” he said.
“And if I continue to do that, I will be seen as an insane person. Now I want to be part of the Government. I want to help Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the People’s National Congress Party run this country.
“I don’t want to talk (anymore) about changing the Government.
“I have been doing it for 10 years. And I’m sick and tired of (it). I’m a better person now.”
Those who crossed the floor on Monday were Basil, deputy Pangu leader William Samb (Goilala), Central Governor Robert Agarobe, Rigo MP Captain Lekwa Gure, Sohe MP Henry Amuli, Nawae MP Kennedy Wenge, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, Lae MP John Rosso, Menyamya MP Thomas Pelika, Tewai-Siassi MP Dr Kobby Bomareo, Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi and Lufa MP Moriape Kavori.
The Government now has 73 MPs in the 111-seat Parliament.
Basil said they would help the Government pass bills in Parliament including the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill.
“This is the Government of PNG. We are not teaming up with a foreign government.
“So we are just doing justice for our people by joining up the Government so that we help steer the ship and help the Government run this nation,” Basil said.
Deputy Pangu Pati leader William Samb said they would maintain the party’s anti-corruption stand.
“It’s better to address corruption within (Government) than from the Opposition.
“I spent 18 months in the Opposition and have seen what happened,” he said.
“And Basil has been in the Opposition for 10 years. So our integrity is still intact.”
Meanwhile, Rosso and Kavori are now members of Pangu.
Rosso had contested the general election as an Independent candidate while Kavori was a member of the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party.