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PNG Speaker: Vote of no confidence can be moved after 18 months

Papua New Guinea Parliament Speaker Job Pomat has confirmed that the 18-month grace period lapses on February 5, 2019.

He said the adjournment of Parliament to January 22, is the prerogative of the government as they call the shots. Although Pomat said that traditional Parliament would be recalled, normal government process is for the session to be recalled in February. “But government set January and that does not stop the vote of no confidence. After 18 months they can move a vote of no confidence. This adjournment to January does not mean it’s the last Parliament.

Pomat said there will be more parliament sessions after January and the vote of no confidence can be moved anytime after the 18-month grace period.

“Vote of no confidence is now the hot topic. We hear MPs, members of Facebook and even street men talking about it, but at the end of the day it is a business to be dealt with only by elected members of Parliament.”

The opposition also raised the issue that the move to adjourn Parliament to January was a strategic move by government to avoid February 5, when announcing the defection of Kerema MP Richard Mendani.

The government has 111 MPs while the opposition is claiming 23 and also offering the prime minister’s post to a leader within government who can bring the most numbers required to topple the prime minister.

Meanwhile, two senior government MPs have denied outright claims by the opposition that they were approached and have to be nominated as alternate Prime Ministers if the opposition moves a vote of no confidence motion when the 18-month grace periods lapses.

Public Enterprise Minister William Duma and Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas have both categorically denied any meetings or talks with the opposition that has been widely circulated on social media.

Duma when contacted said he has never met or talked to Sir Mekere for almost a year and assertions that they have met is all fake news.

Enga Governor, Sir Peter in a statement blasted Sir Mekere Morauta of allegedly implicating him in the oppositions attempt at a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his government

Sir Peter claimed Sir Mekere has implicated that he was to be named an alternate Prime Minister in the opposition move.

“What utter nonsense and make-believe by Sir Mekere,” Sir Peter said after hearing the comments.

“I am the Governor of Enga Province, this is the only position I want and I was elected by the people of my province to do this job only.

“The fact that this yoyo politician would use my name is a desperate measure from a desperate individual. This is a leader who has been a yo-yo between parties more than any other, and has lost all credibility.”

He said Sir Mekere should show some dignity and stop his silly little games.

“Stop shopping around names as a PM and get to work and finally start serving the interests of the people of Moresby North-west.

“The Prime Ministership is not a commodity to sell.

“I am committed to support the O’Neill government during the election in 2017 and my word is my bond.

“Sir Mekere should be ashamed of his conduct and apologise to the people of this nation.

“Over seven years the O’Neill government has delivered more progress and development for our nation than any that came before.

“We are talking about revolutionary policies that are delivering positive changes around the country and helping our grass-roots people to have better lives.

“Because of the O’Neill government more children are in schools, our national highway network is being restored and small businesses have a real chance to succeed.”

Sir Peter said the opposition has an elected leader and not Sir Mekere.

“The person who has most to be worried about is Patrick Pruaitch.

“Sir Mekere and his deputy Bryan Kramer are plotting to take over the opposition leadership.

“His move to National Alliance is aimed at overthrowing Patrick Pruaitch.

“They know they do not have the numbers to overthrow the government, so this loud-mouthing is all about overthrowing the opposition,” he said.

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