By ROBERT PALME
THE HIGHLANDS and Southern blocs of the ruling National Alliance party are seemingly intact over the deputy leadership issue while the Momase and Islanders groups are unsettled.
New Guinea Islands leader and Minister for National Planning Paul Tiensten was formally ousted as leader according to party officials, but factions close to Tiensten still support Mr Tiensten and maintain he is still the leader.
Momase is likely to elect a new one, maybe on an acting basis when the leadership tribunal commences the probe into allegations of misconduct in office by Finance and Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch.
While Mr Tiensten's case is still being debated by party officials in the region, Mr Pruaitch says he will fight referral to the Leadership Tribunal and the validity of the process used.
Meanwhile, rumors are wild that there is likely to be a reshuffle in the cabinet next week but sources said the reshuffle "thing" has been in the air for a long time.
The source said the prerogative is with the Prime Minister and no one can preempt what is or is not likely to happen.