2 Jul 2004

Chaos in PNG parliament

1:22 pm on 2 July 2004

Chaos persists in Papua New Guinea's parliament after the government sacked four opposition-aligned MPs and used the Speaker's chair to try firm numbers against a looming no-confidence motion.

Meanwhile, the opposition, although officially confident of the motion going through, still hasn't announced its numbers or confirmed its alternate prime minister, or submitted a written notice for the motion with 11 signatories.

Speaker Jeffery Nape - a National Alliance MP - had ruled and ordered the Sergeant of Arms to re-arrange seating of minority MPs of People's Progress Party, Pangu Pati and PNG Party to cross and sit in government benches.

This was based on previously made resolutions to support the government by these parties affirmed in consultations with the Registrar of Political Parties and Integrity of Political Parties Commission.

The decision angered sidelined parliamentary leaders in the opposition who dared the Chair to try and physically move them over to Government ranks.