Court reference complicates PNG confidence vote plan

7:14 am on 25 January 2019

A supreme court reference filed by Papua New Guinea's government could complicate the opposition's intended motion of no-confidence against the prime minister.

PNG PM Peter O'Neill

PNG PM Peter O'Neill Photo: AFP / Peter Parks

The 18-month grace period for such motions after an election expires on 5 February.

The opposition said it was planning for a vote of no-confidence against Peter O'Neill after the grace period ends.

However, the Attorney-General Davis Steven said a reference he filed late last year seeks the court's interpretation on various procedural aspects of a motion.

"It renders the whole process sub judice. And obviously, the parliament has, through the speaker, joined the proceedings. That process has commenced and it will be reviewed on the 6th of February. So the directions might be needed, depending on the presiding Supreme Court judge."

Davis Steven said it still remained to be seen if notice of a motion will be issued.

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