27 May 2008

PNG opposition threatens with walk-out amid gagging claims

5:50 pm on 27 May 2008

Papua New Guinea's Opposition says it will walk out of Parliament at the beginning of the next session in July if the Speaker prevents it from questioning of the government.

The Deputy Opposition Leader, Bart Philemon, says the opposition is tired of being gagged by Speaker Jeffery Nape every time it raises serious questions in parliament.

He says gagging is the Government's modus operandi and next time it happens the Opposition will stage a walkout.

Mr Philemon says that since Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's government was formed in August last year Opposition MPs' questions on a series of scandals had been blocked.

He says questions over the government's involvement in allowing Julian Moti to escape from PNG were disallowed, as was their enquiry into why the Government stopped an investigation into an estimated one billion kina missing from the public purse.

Mr Philemon says, in addition, on two occasions their enquiries into PNG government's involvement in the Taiwan diplomatic cash scandal, were stopped by the Speaker.