29 Nov 2012

PNG watchdog concerned about increased limits on votes of no confidence

7:43 pm on 29 November 2012

Transparency International Papua New Guinea is opposed to parliament's plans to extend the grace period before a vote of no confidence can be held in a government following an election.

In the first reading of a legislative change this week the Peter O'Neill Government got unanimous approval to extend the grace period to 30 months from 18.

It claims this will bring stability, but Transparency International says this will weaken democratic control and lead to unchecked behaviour or corruption.

Its spokesperson Lawrence Stephens says the instability is not due to the vote of no confidence provision but the way MPs abuse the facility.

"It's akin to saying you have an axe, you can use it for good things or you can use it for bad things. Unfortunately we have had a long history of people misusing the vote of no confidence simply to advance a personal political career and it regularly has nothing to do with the competence or incompetence of any of the people involved."