26 Feb 2008

PNG parliament not functioning properly, says MP

8:30 pm on 26 February 2008

A Papua New Guinea opposition MP is calling for fresh elections to be held because he says there's no debate in parliament.

PNG elected a new government last year, with the coalition government holding 89 seats in parliament, whereas the opposition having just 20.

Opposition MP, Francis Awesa, says this imbalance means the government can pass legislation easily without consulting the opposition or the public.

Mr Awesa says that has opened the door for corruption.

"My statement in relation to the dissolution of parliament stems from my serious concern about the parliament at the moment where the government is supressing proper debates on major issues concerning PNG on the floor of parliament and outside."

Francis Awesa says there're many examples of government abuse, among them the establishment of Petromin, a state company which handles the government's interests in the oil, mineral and mining sectors.