29 Oct 2004

PNG Government moves again to block votes of no confidence

4:09 pm on 29 October 2004

The Papua New Guinea government has erected another obstacle to the Opposition's plans to move a vote of no-confidence against it.

The National Executive Council has directed Attorney-General Francis Damem to file a reference in the Supreme Court for a ruling on Section 145, which deals with motions of no-confidence in a government.

Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare sponsored the submission that was unanimously supported by the Council.

The immediate effect of the Supreme Court reference is that Parliament may again be stopped from putting a motion of no-confidence in the session starting next week.

This is because the matter would be before the court.

The Council decision is likely to draw the ire of the Opposition as it has been trying to lure MPs to build a majority of 55.

The Post Courier reports Cabinet wants the Supreme Court to clarify the basis upon which a motion of no-confidence in a prime minister can be moved.