Seven members of the Opposition have defected to the government.
They include Kavieng MP Ian Ling-Stuckey who has also been offered the Treasury Ministry.
He was sworn in at Government house this morning.
The others as reported are Namatanai MP and National Alliance Party General Secretary Walter Snaubelt, East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, Oro Governor Gary Juffa, Port Moresby Northwest MP Sir Mekere Morauta and two Bougainville MP’s Timothy Masiu and William Nakin.
Mr Bird has explained to his Sepik people that his defection was a result of political under currents he believed were not encouraging for the country’s growth.
“When I was in the US, I received information of a possibility of another Parliamentary coup to remove Marape and elements within PNC and others were behind it. I objected strongly and said I would not be a part of such a move,” he said.
“PNC and it’s leaders have now been ejected by PMJM to join the opposition.”
“When the opportunity to help the country arose for some of us to assist the government, we took it.”
“My fight was against PNC and it’s repressive policies. I have no argument with the Marape government unlike the O’Neil government,” he said.
Oro Governor Gary Juffa meanwhile said on his social media wall: “PNC Leader Peter O’Neill has been evicted from Government and has been asked to move to Opposition.”
“This means we now move to Government.”
“That has always been a condition of my support for the Marape Davies Government…that O’Neill no longer be a part of that Government,” he said.
Prime Minister James Marape said today it was after a careful consideration that he decommissioned Richard Maru, a senior member of the People’s National Congress Party.
“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.”