21 Jul 2004

PNG ombudsman says parliament in breach of constitution

4:08 pm on 21 July 2004

Papua New Guinea's ombudsman is reiterating his belief that parliament is in breach of the constitution for not sitting the required length of time.

Ila Geno says MPs have sat for 53 of the 63 days required in this parliamentary year, and are now unable to fulfill that duty because that year ends on the 29th of July.

The prime minister has indicated his belief that the parliamentary year doesn't end until the 5th August.

But, Mr Geno says a Supreme court case in 1990 stated that a parliamentary year commences the day after the day fixed for the return of the writs for a general election which in 2002, was the 29th of July.

Mr Geno says he will continue with the ongoing Supreme court case but there may be some changes.

"The decision I will make is how I will proceed with it. There would be variations or whatever changes but the matter is on because I have made up my mind that parliament, in so far as I can see, is in breach of the constitution for not meeting the number of minimum days to sit in one calendar year which is 63 days."

Ila Geno.

His legal spokesperson says Mr Geno also has the option to file fresh proceedings.