11 Mar 2009

PNG's parliament rejects plan for three women representatives

4:09 pm on 11 March 2009

Papua New Guinea's push for three women representatives in parliament has failed after the opposition party voted against it.

PNG's parliament voted 60 for and 16 against - 13 votes short of the required 73 to pass the motion where three non-party affiliated women would be included in parliamentary sessions.

Tthe Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare introduced the motion yesterday as he believed women in PNG need more political representation.

PNG's Post Courier newspaper says the only female parliament member, Community Services and Women's Minister Carol Kidu, told tearful women outside parliament house that despite the poor result the government will continue to push the motion.

Opposition Leader, Sir Mekere Morauta, says they were against the vote because the affirmative action push had no legal grounding.

He says in the absence of such a law, the process is subject to legal challenge not only by any of the 93 unsuccessful applicants but by any aggrieved citizen.