19 Sep 2003

PNG parliament unruly over constitutional change

3:45 pm on 19 September 2003

Papua New Guinea's parliament was thrown into chaos over attempts to pass the second reading on constitutional changes to extend the no confidence grace period against government without debate.

PNG's media report the disorder began after public services minister and leader of government leader, Peter O'Neill, suspended standing orders after parliament elected a governor general.

The lands minister, Michael Nali, then introduced a motion to gag debate and that a vote be conducted on the no confidence extension against government from 18 to 36 months.

Mr Nali's motion was seconded by Forest Minister, Patrick Pruaitch.

The speaker, Bill Skates, said not all political parties had filed their party resolutions on how they were to vote.

While an MP who challenged parliament to vote on the no confidence issue was booed by the opposition ranks.

The rest of the house then interjected with points of order over the confusion on the floor.