13 Jul 2004

PNG premier accused of abusing parliamentary process

10:17 am on 13 July 2004

The Papua New Guinea Opposition says the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's abusing parliamentary process to maintain his hold on power.

Sir Michael Somare last week avoided a vote of no confidence by managing to keep the Opposition motion off the Parliamentary order paper.

Sir Michael then outmanoeuvred opponents in their attempt to bring the motion directly on the floor of the chamber.

The Opposition leader Peter O'Neill says this is unprecedented in PNG politics.

"Over thirty years motions of no confidence have been allowed to proceed onto the floor of Parliament, be debated and be voted on. Very few have been successful and very many have not been successful but in any case they have been debated and voted on, and as such, the Prime Minister must not not use parliamentary process to maintain power we do not believe he has."

Parliament's been adjourned until July 26th, but Mr O'Neill says the Opposition intends bringing the motion of no confidence when it resumes.

He says the Opposition is also waiting on a court ruling on the way the Government denied the tabling of the motion last week.