9 May 2003

Organic law changes mooted in PNG

3:20 pm on 9 May 2003

Papua New Guinea's Somare/Marat Government is planning changes to the Organic Law to try and ensure its coalition remains stable.

The three seats declared so far in the supplementary Southern Highlands election have been won by parties in the government coalition.

But our correspondent reports there are concerns about whether the coalition can be kept intact.

Peter Niesi says the Government is looking at changes to the Organic Law to lessen the likelihood of votes of no confidence which are frequently used in PNG to topple an administration.

"Basically the idea is to set conditions under which votes of no confidence, which happens after every 18 months when a government is in power, are set. Now, it is not clear yet what those conditions are, but one of those that has been highlighted is the possibility of just how the government concerned is handling the economy. So they will probably use economy indicators as a catalyst to see if there would be a vote of no confidence or not, and that's just the nature of the type of amendments they want to introduce to the integrity law."