May 7, 2019

PNG government averted no confidence motion by deferring Parliament sitting to 28 May

The Papua New Guinea government used its numerical strength Tuesday to avert the no-confidence motion in the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

It voted 59-50 to adjourn Parliament to May 28 and avoid facing the possible vote next Thursday.


This will also allow Prime Minister O’Neill to announce replacements for Ministers who had resigned from Cabinet, namely, Sir Puka Temu (Health), Solan Mirisin (Defence), Douglas Tomureisa (Forest) and William Samb (Minister assisting the Prime Minister on Bougainvillle).

The parliament session started late, well past its 2pm starting time because of the late arrival of the Government MPs.

In other developments during the short session:

Speaker Pomat had to entertain at least six points of order, asked MPs to take their seats and countless order calls during the 45-minute Question Time and mayhem in Parliament.

Opposition shadow minister for Treasury and Finance and Member for Kavieng Ian Ling-Stuckey asked a series of questions to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on why he did not step down because of the government failing economic policies.

PM O’Neill, who appeared cool, calm and collected answered the questions in detail despite continuous interjections.

O’Neill responded, challenging Ling-Stuckey to provide independent data suggesting the economy has declined.

He said: “Your data is based on fake news, social media and the gossip that you are hearing; give us the data from a competent, independent agency suggesting that living standards are declining.

“There are independent institutions like the World Bank, IMF and ADB, who are not politically influenced.

“These are internationally-renowned institutions, independent in their thinking and have given credit to the government for managing the economy well, and all you have to do is go to their sites — not only Facebook.

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch moved a motion to remove Speaker Pomat and to be replaced by their nominee Maprik MP John Simon. But they did not participate to vote, wanting a secret ballot instead.

Two Opposition MPs, Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin and Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu voted with the Government mustering 60-0 thwart moves to oust the Speaker.

The Opposition did a boycott not to vote, resulting in a nil vote recorded.

Southern Highlands Governor William Powi and Philip Undialu were removed from the Private Members Committee and replaced by Koi Trappe and Robert Atiyafa.

Opposition spokesman on Justice and Attorney-General Kerenga Kua said that a constitutional motion, the no-confidence motion, has been presented that is why parliament must resume quickly and deal with that motion.

Meanwhile, the Opposition has moved a motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

This was confirmed by Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch.

Pruaitch said they had started the process and would intensify their strategy.

According to the letter of notice to Speaker Job Pomat, who is the chairman of the Private Members Business Committee, the motion was moved by Pruaitch as first mover, and seconded by Abau MP Sir Puka Temu.

A notice of motion of no-confidence in the prime minister is a Constitutional motion that is required by s.145 (1) of the Constitution to be given in accordance with the procedures of the Parliament as per Standing Orders and should not be treated in the same manner as ordinary notices of motion as required to be given by the SOs.

SOURCE:  POST COURIER/PACNEWS

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