24 May 2012

PNG women want reserved seats in June polls

1:51 pm on 24 May 2012

Papua New Guinea's National Council of Women is calling on the electoral commission to include the 22 women's seats in next month's election.

In November, parliament passed the Equality and Participation Bill which sets up 22 reserved seats for women, but enabling legislation was not passed in time.

The Council's president, Scholla Kakas, says the constitutional amendment allowing the seats was required to come into operation on the issues of writs for the 2012 election.

She says that overrides the need for a further enabling act.

"There was a precedent set already in 2007 by the Governors. They voted themselves out in 2006, and before they could go to elections they only passed the constitutional amendment to allow them to go to elections. They didn't get the enabling act passed. So we women are calling upon the government to seriously look at the constitution that is there."

Scholla Kakas says if the seats are not enacted, then women will be pushing for by-elections following the general election