Giles stands firm during chaotic NT leadership coup

GOING NOWHERE: Adam Giles remains the Northern Territory Chief Minister after a failed leadership coup by Member for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe on February 2.

GOING NOWHERE: Adam Giles remains the Northern Territory Chief Minister after a failed leadership coup by Member for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe on February 2.

ADAM Giles is still the Northern Territory Chief Minister after a tumultuous 24 hours in Darwin.

After a failed coup by Member for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe late on February 2, Mr Giles announced on Tuesday afternoon that he had retained the Country Liberal Party leadership.

Mr Westra van Holthe is the Territory’s new Deputy Chief Minister.

At 1am on February 2, Mr Westra van Holthe called an extraordinary press conference to advise that he was the new chief minister following a vote by his parliamentary wing colleagues, adding that John Elferink would take on the role of his second-in-command.

The trigger was discontent with the direction the government was taking, he said, before promising to be more consultative and transparent leader.

The Member for Katherine was due to be sworn in at 11am on Tuesday but, after Mr Giles refused to sign a resignation letter, the ceremony had to be postponed until the government could prepare an instrument allowing NT Administrator John Hardy to formally remove Mr Giles from the position of chief minister.

Later that afternoon, Mr Giles held his own press conference and slammed Mr Westra van Holthe’s ability to lead the NT.

"I am sworn in as the Chief Minister," Mr Giles said.

"I note that Willem Westra van Holthe believes that he is to be anointed as the Chief Minister.

"There has been a range of discussions as I understand it going on today.

“Quite frankly, I don't think that Willem Westra van Holthe has the capacity, capability or the tenacity, or the professionalism, to be the chief minister."

On February 4, Mr Westra van Holthe said that the Chief Minister had his full support, despite the failed leadership bid.

"I am 100 per cent, in fact 110 per cent, behind the Chief Minister,” he said.

More to come.

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