17 Jan 2011

Transparency PNG says government tactics undermine constitution

4:21 pm on 17 January 2011

The Chairman of Transparency International in Papua New Guinea, Lawrence Stephens, says the government's disturbing pattern of adjourning parliament to suit undermines the country's constitution.

Parliament won't sit again until May following a brief session on Friday to elect the Governor-General.

During that sitting, the opposition tried to launch a motion of no confidence but was outnumbered and MPs now won't convene again until the tenth of May.

Mr Stephens says this means legislation may then be rushed through and in the meantime things will be done by ministerial decree.

"It appears that it's more convenient not to have people in parliament so they have less opportunity to raise votes of no confidence in the leadership. By not being there they can't vote and this appears to be a tactic being engaged which really undermines the whole basis on which the constitution was established."