National Alliance Party (Papua New Guinea)
The National Alliance Party has operated as a political party in Papua New Guinea since 1995.
It was founded in 1995 by Bernard Narokobi, Moi Avei, Bart Philemon and Masket Iangalio, who invited Sir Michael Somare to lead them to the 1997 elections after he had been sacked as leader of the Pangu Party.
National Alliance took 19 of 109 seats in parliament at the 2002 election, making it the largest single party, and as such the party was invited to form the government. The National Alliance-led government of 2002-2007 was the first government since independence in 1975 to survive a full five year term - all previous governments had fallen to votes of no confidence. In 2006, party co-founder Bart Philemon attempted to depose Somare as party leader, but this challenge was unsuccessful and Philemon went to the opposition benches, remaining there as leader of the New Generation Party even after Somare’s victory in the elections. At the 2007 general election, the party increased its representation, gaining 27 seats and remaining by far the largest party. Michael Somare was easily confirmed by Parliament for another term as prime minister, as several parties joined a coalition with the National Alliance, and 13 independents announced their decision to join the National Alliance party, bringing its representation to 40 members.
In August 2011, the NAP-led Somare government was brought down in a parliamentary motion of no confidence (while Somare was recovering from surgery in hospital), leading to a split in the party, between members who remained loyal to Somare, and others who joined Peter O'Neill's new government. In October, it was reported simultaneously that the party was expelling the latter, and that the latter's leader, Don Polye, had assumed leadership of the party. What had happened was a split, with two opposing factions both claiming to constitute the party. In January 2012, Polye purported to de-register the NAP, despite the existence of a rival faction. The members of his faction formed a new party, the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Rural Party ("T.H.E. Party"), ahead of the June 2012 general election. Polye stated: "Somare is gone, and so will his party. NA will be history". The remaining faction of the party continue to recognize Michael Somare's leadership.
Party leaders and members as of 2007 included:
- Simon Kaiwi (president)
- Stephen Pokawin, former governor of Manus (general secretary)
- Sir Michael Somare, Prime Minister, Member for East Sepik Provincial (parliamentary leader)
- Dr Puka Temu, Deputy Prime Minister, Member for Abau Open (Central)
- Don Polye, Member for Kandep Open (Enga)
- Patrick Pruaitch, Member for Aitape-Lumi Open (West Sepik)
- Arthur Somare, Member for Angoram Open (East Sepik)
- Sir Arnold Amet, Governor of Madang and Member for Madang Provincial, probable future Party leader according to Pacific Magazine
- By ISAAC NICHOLAS in Kokopo. "MoA to govern". THE National Alliance and its coalition partners have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last Saturday, essentially agreeing to return Sir Michael Somare as Prime Minister for another five years. http://www.thenational.com.
- "National Alliance party sack 12 parliamentarians, leader calls on party executives to resign", Pacific Islands News Association
- "Polye splits National Alliance party, forms new group to contest 2012 polls", Islands Business, 17 January 2012
- "PNG’S DEFUNCT RULING PARTY REFORMS AS ‘T.H.E. PARTY’", The National, 23 January 2012
- "New party launched", Post Courier, 24 January 2012
- "New PNG political party to focus on strengthening family unit", Radio New Zealand International, 24 January 2012
- "Kaiwi: Majority support NA". The National. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "Herding begins". Post Courier Online. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "Regional Leaders Making a Difference", Pacific Magazine, April 27, 2008