14 Jul 2004

PNG opposition leader defends no confidence efforts

10:19 am on 14 July 2004

The Papua New Guinea opposition has hit back at criticism from the Catholic Church's Assembly which last week said it was disgusted by the political games being played in Port Moresby.

That was a reference to the opposition's push for a vote of no confidence and the government's manoeuvrings to avoid it.

The Assembly said the opposition must give good reasons why it should be allowed to govern, and present clear alternative policies, while the government should not use it to avoid addressing the real issues facing PNG.

But, the opposition leader, Peter O'Neill, says part of their role is to test the mandate of the government on the floor of parliament.

And, he says they have presented alternative policies.

"Unless the Catholic Church and the hierarchy have not been reading the press, we have been come up clear on many issues the Opposition believes in, including our new initiatives on health and education, on infrastructure and law and order. So these are some of the major issues affecting the country and we believe we can provide a better alternative than the current government."