4 Aug 2010

PNG Ombudsman says MPs could be jailed over Parliament not sitting enough

2:10 pm on 4 August 2010

Papua New Guinea's Ombudsman Commission has warned that all MPs are liable for ten years jail and hefty fines because Parliament failed to sit for the required 63 days last year.

The Post Courier though reports that a lack of resources may have saved them from being referred for possible breaches of the Leadership Code.

The commission says MPs breached the constitution which stipulates Parliament 'shall meet not less than frequently than three times in each period of 12 months, and, in principle, for not less than nine weeks in each such period.'

The Post Courier says this charge was made in a statement last week by the Chief Ombudsman, Chronox Manek, and Ombudsmen John Nero and Phoebe Sangetari.

The commission says it had received complaints over MPs allegedly failing to meet the required sitting days, following the adjournment of Parliament on July 29th last year, the first sitting day for that session.

This statement from Commission comes two weeks after the corresponding session this year was also adjourned following a little more than a day of sitting.