5 Nov 2012

Lengthened grace period proposed for PNG government

1:38 pm on 5 November 2012

The Papua New Guinea government wants to extend the grace period before a vote of no-confidence can be held from 18 months to 30 months.

The Prime Minister Peter O'Neill revealed his plans late last week, saying a change to the constitution would ensure that a government would serve half a regular term of Parliament before a vote of no confidence was possible.

The Post Courier reports the prime minister as saying the vote of no confidence provision in the constitution serves an important purpose in the functioning of the country's democracy and will be maintained.

He says it acts as a pressure valve, a lever, which is activated to bring in change when an elected government loses focus, becomes self-serving or simply fails to deliver.

But he says it is the collective view of all government parties that for the people to fairly judge the performance of any administration, sufficient time must be given for it to implement its stated policies and development agendas.