6 May 2010

PNG PM's office says critics of Ombudsman legislation don't understand it

10:36 am on 6 May 2010

The office of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister says those opposing proposed legislation to alter the function of the Ombudsman Commission don't understand the bill.

But Transparency International PNG says the so-called Maladina Bill will undermine the Commission's integrity and Tuesday's march of five thousand people in the capital reflects strong public opposition to it.

Annell Husband reports.

"A petition with 20 thousand signatures presented to parliament by the march demands more consultation on the legislation while calling for some of the proposed amendments to be dropped. The government's given an assurance that the legislation will not be debated again until July, allowing more time for discussion. But after PNG's Attorney General Allan Marat's sudden resignation this week, which followed his criticism of the Maladina Bill, Transparency is encouraging MPs to adhere to principles. Meanwhile the Prime Minister's office insists the legislation does not remove the Ombudsman Commission's powers but simply tightens its function."