24 Nov 2008

Three women likely to be added to PNG parliament

2:55 pm on 24 November 2008

Papua New Guinea's Parliament is set to increase by three seats after an allocation in the 2009 Budget to allow for three women MPs to be nominated to join the present 109 members.

The only female MP, Dame Carol Kidu, has for a long time pushed for more women in the assembly and retains a hope that reserved seats can be set aside in time for the 2012 election.

But she says, in the meantime, a screening committee, headed by the National Council of Women, will put forward candidates from which three will be chosen by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

"And then a vote will have to go to the floor of Parliament in the first session next year, and the Prime Minister will put a vote to the floor nominating these three women that have been chosen through this process and then we would have to get an absolute two thirds majority vote on the floor to succeed."