18 Jul 2003

PNG parliament debates changes to Integrity Act

10:49 am on 18 July 2003

The Papua New Guinea parliament begun debating government's amendments to the Organic law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates act.

The government wants a 36 month grace period before a vote of no confidence can be moved against it, instead of the current 18 months.

The Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare says the changes ensure political and financial stability because PNG has had 13 government's averaging 2.2 years in power over the last 28 years.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Peter Niessi says apart from the opposition, most MPs are happy with the amendments.

"The way its being structured now, to 36 months means that basically there's only going to be one vote of no confidence in a whole 5 year term of government. The opposition sees the move as trying to secure the government a longer term in office. Many of the MPs have re-affirmed their committment to the Somare/Marat government."

Peter Niesi in PNG.

Other proposed amendments include an absolute majority of 55 be required for a motion of no confidence to be successful instead of the current simple majority of 37.