25 Apr 2007

MP attendance in parliament lags in PNG

6:07 pm on 25 April 2007

Papua New Guinea's parliament has enjoyed a quorum on Wednesday, after the house was adjourned on Tuesday due to a lack of MPs for the third time since the final session of parliament began last week.

At least sixty MPs attended, doubling the number from the previous day in the 109-seat house.

Some MPs have criticised the government for not managing the numbers in the house, and have called for the suspension of parliament until after the election due to the poor attendance.

Our corrspondent, Alex Rheeney, says many MPs are busy campaigning ahead of the upcoming General Election.

He says several late defections to different political parties has also accounted for a lot of background activity among MPs.

"There has also been the exchange and trading of preferences between political parties and between members of parliament in the lead up to the elections. So there is a lot of activity behind the scenes and that is one of the reasons why MPs just don't seem to have time to attend parliament sessions, especially this last session."

Alex Rheeney says this last sitting of parliament is likely to end this Friday when writs for the general Elections are issued.