3 Aug 2009

PNG parliament adjournment could damage economy, NGO warns

7:11 pm on 3 August 2009

A spokesperson for non-government organisations in Papua New Guinea is warning that the three-month adjournment of parliament could damage the economy.

Last week the government won a vote to adjourn parliament until November, to avoid a motion of no confidence being tabled against it by the opposition.

Jonathan O'ata, the chairperson of Voices for Justice and Governments, says the adjournment is a "mischievous" abuse of parliamentary standing orders which could have serious consequences.

"The government's irresponsible adjournment of parliament immediately affects the economy. We'll see the repercussive effects, through two to three months, to six months from now. Capital flight is high, and most probably occurring as we speak and investor confidence has been badly hurt."

Jonathan O'ata says people are angry about the adjournment and the possibility they could take the law into their own hands is high.

But he says NGOs are trying to channel public anger into peaceful forms of protest.