PNG Court orders Parliament to reconvene

8:59 am on 13 July 2016

The Opposition in Papua New Guinea has welcomed yesterday's ruling by the Supreme Court that Parliament must be reconvened to allow a vote of no confidence in the government.

The vote was due to take place on June the 8th, but Parliament was adjourned that day following the police shooting of protesting students at the University of PNG in Port Moresby.

The Opposition said the Supreme Court has ordered the Speaker of the House to reconvene Parliament within the next five days.

It said the decision, by the full bench of the court, shows the judiciary is independent and supportive of the rule of law and justice in the country.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill. Photo: PNG PM's office

O'Neill told to step down

Today's ruling follows a threat from a coalition of trade unions in PNG to call a general strike unless the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill steps down to face fraud allegations.

Two former prime ministers, Sir Michael Somare and Sir Mekere Morauta have also said Mr O'Neill should step down.

They said he is bringing the country to its knees - socially, economically and politically - and he cannot be allowed to do more damage.

Sir Mekere Morauta (left) and Sir Michael Somare (right)

Sir Mekere Morauta (left) and Sir Michael Somare (right) say PNG is heading down an uncertain, slippery road. Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins/Johnny Blades

But Mr O'Neill has dismissed that statement as nonsense telling Loop PNG that the country's economy is recovering well from the decline caused by the fall in global commodities' prices.

He says revenue is improving each month and expenses are under control.

Mr O'Neill said that the economy is performing better than when the former prime ministers were in charge.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs