14 Jun 2012

Retiring PNG MP Kidu urges constitutional reform

3:08 pm on 14 June 2012

A retiring Papua New Guinea MP, Dame Carol Kidu, says she wants the new parliament to look at what she says is long overdue constitutional reform.

Dame Carol, the only woman in the past two parliaments and the outgoing opposition leader, says the need for change had long been apparent but the political controversies of the past ten months have helped focus the issues more.

She says the present constitutional arrangements are not necessarily serving the needs of the people.

Dame Carol says she hopes the new MPs will recognise there are some very challenging issues in the constitution that need to be looked at.

"About whether it is appropriate in our circumstances for the Speaker to be a member of Parliament or whether it is better to look at the Solomon Islands and Bougainville model where there is a process by which a neutral Speaker is brought in later and is not a member of Parliament. We should look at things like should the Chief Justice be appointed by Cabinet. I personally have thought for a long time that should not be the case."

Dame Carol Kidu.

She says there may also be a need for second House, to ensure greater oversight.