5 Jul 2004

PNG opposition says its will most likely mount a challenge to the Government tomorrow

3:24 pm on 5 July 2004

The leader of Papua New Guinea's opposition, Peter O'Neil, says it will look to remove the speaker of the house as well as the government when parliament resumes tomorrow.

Mr O'Neil says the opposition is confident it has the numbers to move a vote of no-confidence against the government.

Confusion over how many government MPs intend to break away came to a head in parliament last week, when the speaker, Jeffrey Nape, tried to rearrange their seating in the house.

Mr O'Neil subsequently led calls for Mr Nape's resignation, saying his attempts to physically remove MPs went too far.

"You have to respect the leadership and elected leaders. The Speaker needs to go back and see the laws which govern the political parties. There is no provision as to where they have to sit on the floor if the majority of their party members are either in government or opposition. It's entirely up to the individual member. So that, we took exception (to) and we will be looking at trying to remove the speaker tomorrow."

Meanwhile, the Post Courier newspaper quotes opposition sources as saying at least four cabinet ministers and two vice-minsters may resign today.