29 Nov 2010

Reserved seats for women in PNG now less likely by next election

8:03 pm on 29 November 2010

A Papua New Guinea academic says it will be a challenge now to get reserved seats for women in time for the next election.

A bill to create 22 reserved seats for women has gone back to cabinet for reworking.

Academic Dr Orovu Sepoe, who worked on the bill, says MPs refused to support the bill over a provision, added at the last minute, tying the reserved seats to provincial governorships.

"Women have been saying that 'what's the big difference here'. The principle is still the same. It's just that the governors in parliament at the moment are uncomfortable with tying womens' seats to their seats. They would like to make it separate. The women are not very happy, because it is a commitment that has been made by the Government."

Dr Orovu Sepoe says the change was made so the bill could be passed by a simple majority.