By ROBERT PALME
TWO founding deputy party leaders in the ruling National Alliance party are officially out.
According to Joyce Grant of the party's national office, New Guinea Islands leader Paul Tiensten and Highlands Don Polye are no longer deputy leaders.
Ms Grant told this paper that Mr Tiensten was formally ousted by the executives that elected him as party leader while Mr Polye's position was left vacant when the National Court nullified his win.
She said the election of James Marape as Highlands's party leader was not on temporary basis as there is no such a thing provided in the party's constitution.
The party's general secretary said there was no casual vacancy but a vacancy with Mr Polye's win nullified by the court.
Meanwhile, she denied a push by Minister Arthur Somare for his father and Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to give him the party leadership.
Ms Grant said the party constitution does not allow that and the prime minister does not have the powers to do that.
She said everyone has their opinions but at the end of the day, the policies of the party will guide them into major decisions.
"There is no such a thing as handover party leadership... maybe this happens in other places," Ms Grant said.
The media reports by the Post-Courier on Thursday were misleading and most of it was false, Ms Grant told the Sunday Chronicle.
She said the party convention in Lae last week was Pangu Party's and not NA's and the paper reported on it.
A very disappointed woman said the reporter did not have the courtesy to call the party office and verify her story.
Ms Grant said the party as an institution has laws that govern it, reporters must qualify that stories and sources by calling the management or administrators of that institution.
Mr Somare in a statement said the Post-Courier was factually wrong as he was on leave and did not go to Wewak as the report said.
Both Ms Grant and Mr Somare said the ruling part did not have any convention in Lae.
Mr Somare said he is happy in his role as a Minister and has no intentions of seeking the role of the leader.