21 Oct 2009

PNG opposition boycotts recall of parliament over legal issues

2:20 pm on 21 October 2009

Papua New Guinea's opposition has boycotted a parliamentary session to protest against the government's decision to recall parliament earlier than scheduled.

In July, parliament was adjourned until November the10th before the opposition was able to table a no-confidence motion in the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare.

The government has decided to recall parliament early to attend to pressing issues, such as the disease outbreak in Morobe Province.

The opposition deputy leader Bart Philemon says they won't attend this week's special sessions, that started yesterday, because there are outstanding issues.

"We've written to our ombudsman commission to state that there was a breach of our constitution with the adjournment of parliament in July. It's three months now and we have not received any response. We decided not to participate in this special parliament until the question over the constitutionality over the last parliament [session] is cleared."

Bart Philemon says a special session can only be called in case of a threat of war, national strife or disaster.