4 Jun 2009

PNG minister support call for MP for the disabled

6:29 pm on 4 June 2009

Papua New Guinea's Community Development Minister, Dame Carol Kidu, says the disabled should be heard and she is fully supportive of the call for an MP to be appointed on their behalf.

The Governor of Morobe, Luther Wenge, has made the call which is strongly backed by organisations for the disabled.

And Dame Carol says she has also been promoting the concept under the same constitutional provisions through which she is pushing for the temporary inclusion of three appointed women MPs.

Dame Carol says the more than 600,000 disabled people are entitled to a voice in Parliament and at this point, that can only be provided through the temporary appointment of an MP.

"Because in the nature of Papua New Guinea it is very unlikely that a disabled person will be elected by the election process, whereas say in Australia you get people in wheelchairs. You get blind people in other countries who get to the floor. That is not likely happen yet in PNG in our history. And so again it is a provision for special temporary measures for a marginalised, disadvantaged group."

Dame Carol Kidu.

Our correspondent id PNG says the vast majority of MPs are strongly opposed to the appointment of either women or the disabled as MPs.