1 Aug 2009

Opposition slates lack of sittings

4:03 pm on 1 August 2009

The opposition in Papua New Guinea is considering legal action over a move by the government to adjourn parliament until November.

The government won an adjournment vote by 56-32 on Wednesday, meaning it could avoid the tabling of a no-confidence motion.

Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta says the government seems worried that it may lose its hold on power.

Deputy opposition leader Bart Philemon says parliament sat only 29 days instead of the required 63 days for the parliamentary year.

He says the opposition is now considering its next course of action: to refer the prime minister, Speaker and the leader of government business to the Ombudsman for a breach of the constitution and to seek an order in the Supreme Court on the lack of compliance with the constitution over minimum sitting days.

Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said earlier this week he had the government's full support and the numbers to defeat a no-confidence vote.

A government spokesperson says the adjournment is to allow refurbishments in Parliament House.