31 May 2011

PNG parliament needs a leader to pull MPs into line - political scientist

11:04 pm on 31 May 2011

A Papua New Guinea political scientist says the poor attendance of MPs during the current session of parliament reflects the weak leadership in the governing coalition in the absence of prime minister Sir Michael Somare.

Sir Michael has been in Singapore undergoing treatment for a heart condition since early April.

Dr Orovu Sepoe, who has been working as an advisor on legislation for reserved seats for women, says the coalition, in Sir Michael's absence, is loose and weak.

She says there's a need for a leader who commands respect and has the power to pull everyone into line.

"Because a bill that comes to the attention of parliament, especially like the 22 reserved seats or other important legislation that needs to be debated [are] mostly government bills, and you need to have strong cohesive coalition to rally support for the bills. At the moment I can't quite see that."