PNG PM avoids confidence vote for time being

12:36 pm on 6 February 2019
Papua New Guinea's parliament.

Papua New Guinea's parliament. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Papua New Guinea's parliament has been adjourned to May, meaning prime minister Peter O'Neill has avoided facing a vote of no-confidence this month.

The opposition had sought to table a motion of no-confidence against Mr O'Neill this month as the grace period on such motions expired today.

However, the Speaker allowed parliament to begin early this year, and subsequently adjourned it for three months.

In the background, the government has filed a Supreme Court reference seeking clarification on parliament procedure powers over votes of no confidence against the prime minister.

Meanwhile, in the hope of eliciting public pressure on MPs to vote against the prime minister, the opposition staged a rally in Goroka, the provincial capital of the Eastern Highlands.

Madang MP Bryan Kramer was joined by shadow attorney general Kerenga Kua, East Sepik governor Allan Bird and Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu at the rally, which followed a visit by Mr O'Neill to the town to open a hospital and to break ground for a new market.

The government is set to respond with the Prime Minister due to visit the remote Okapa district in the province later this week, although another opposition rally is being planned in Madang.

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