23 Nov 2011

PNG MPs set up two new provinces and allow reserved seats for women

8:32 pm on 23 November 2011

Papua New Guinea parliamentarians have just passed two key pieces of legislation.

They have agreed to the creation of two new provinces, Jiwaka, which is to carved out of Southern Highlands, and Hela, which is part of Western Highlands province.

As well the MPs passed the Equality and Participation Bill which creates 22 reserved seats for women.

But our correspondent, Jonathan Tannos, points out that the enabling legislation for the reserved seats, which will require the backing of 83 of the 109 MPs, has still to be passed before the measure becomes law.

He says time is running out if the new seats are going to be in place by the election due in the middle of next year.

"There not much time. Time is running out, so until March. They don't get through the next sitting - it will be about March next year, and around March it's a major, major hurdle yet before the actual legislation is complete, with the Enabling Act, is passed."