19 Dec 2011

Bill to create women's seats in PNG parliament falls short amid impasse

3:32 pm on 19 December 2011

The bill to create 22 reserved seats for women in Papua New Guinea's parliament has fallen short of the number of votes required to pass it.

Up for debate this morning in Waigani amid the political impasse in which two factions are claiming to be government, the bill was rescinded and scheduled for debate at a later date.

73 votes are required for the bill to become law, but less than seventy of the 109 MPs attended today's sitting.

The driving force behind the bill, Dame Carol Kidu, says she was the only member of the faction supporting Sir Michael Somare as Prime Minister to turn up to parliament.

"People from the Somare faction have not come. I did discuss it with them but they... there are still some basic fundamental legal issues on this whole impasse that they will not budge on."

Dame Carol Kidu