8 Aug 2011

New PNG government facing contentious political reform bills

3:50 pm on 8 August 2011

Papua New Guinea's new government is under pressure to have pressing legislation debated on the floor of parliament in time for next year's general election.

Parliament is due to resume tomorrow after last week's dramatic ousting of the Somare government saw Peter O'Neill elected as Prime Minister.

Paul Barker of PNG's Institute of National Affairs says there are expectations from various interest groups and regions that three major bills in particular should be passed soon.

He says that each bill would significantly alter the parliamentary landscape.

"They do have to address whether they're going to retain the Governors' positions or not. They've also go to address the 22 (reserved) seats (for) women's bill which was being pushed by the former Community Affairs Minister Dame Carol Kidu with support from the former Prime Minister (Sir) Michael Somare. There is also the question of the two new provinces and whether they're going to go ahead."

Paul Barker