30 Aug 2011

Special sitting of PNG parliament unlikely to result in passing of legislation

1:33 pm on 30 August 2011

Papua New Guinea's government has announced a special sitting of parliament next Tuesday to try and pass key legislation ahead of the general election next year.

Critical bills include the creation of the new provinces of Hela and Jiwaka and the establishment of 22 reserved seats for women.

The Peter O'Neill-led government has only met for one day since its controversial assumption of power.

On that occasion only one opposition MP attended parliament and a political scientist, Alphonse Gelu, says if the opposition continues to boycott, the government won't be able to pass the legislation.

"These bills require changes - amendments to the constitution as well as to the organic law. It would need an absolute majority. The number required is about 75. The current government was voted into office by seventy members and you will find that is well below the required absolute majority."

Dr Gelu says the special sitting of parliament will be a week-long session, and the next sitting will be in November.