25 May 2010

PNG opposition worried about cost in extending women seats

3:13 pm on 25 May 2010

The deputy opposition leader in Papua New Guinea, Bart Philemon, says he is all for more women MPs in Parliament, if it can be achieved without adding to the country's financial burden.

When parliament resumes in July it will consider the creation of 22 new seats reserved for women, as part of a campaign led by the country's only female MP, Dame Carol Kidu.

The opposition says it supports an earlier suggestion that the provincial seats filled by the Governors could become the women's seats, rather than creating completely new ones.

Mr Philemon says 22 new seats will be too costly.

"I had asked the question of Dame Carol Kidu and she claims it will cost an additional 40 million kina. Now that 40 million kina the country can use for fixing up the aid posts, the health centres, schools, infant mortality, maternal mortality and so forth."

Bart Philemon.