PNG police boost numbers in capital while vote looms

9:17 am on 15 May 2019

Papua New Guinea police are to maintain an increased presence in the capital until at least the end of the month.

Papua New Guinea police.

Papua New Guinea police. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

This comes amid a looming motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill

Over 1000 police personnel were deployed onto the streets of Port Moresby last week in anticipation of a vote of no confidence against Mr O'Neill following a series of defections from his government.

But the same day that the opposition lodged the motion, Mr O'Neill's government succeeded in having parliament adjourned for three weeks until 28 May.

While it may have defused some of the political tension, police are still cautioning the public over the potential for volatility in relation to the parliamentary wrestle.

The Special Police Operation that began last week is to continue until the vote of no confidence is taken.

At this rate that won't be before 5 June.

Before proceeding to a vote, the motion must be examined by parliament's Private Business Committee of which the Speaker is the chairman.

If all requirements are met then it will be listed on the Notice Paper.

A period of seven days is allowed after which a vote can be taken.

The Private Business Committee generally only meets on Wednesdays when parliament is sitting.

Meanwhile, additional police from the National Police Headquarters, the Special Services Division, Dog Unit, Water Police, Central Police, and the Bomana Police College have been deployed within NCD to provide manpower to support the Special Police Operation.

Last week, police set up check-points at all roads linking to the Parliament Haus and thoroughly checked all vehicles and members of the public moving in and out of the area.

Such measures are likely to continue as the resumption of parliament approaches.

Police personnel were also deployed in other main centres of the city to maintain peace and prevent opportunistic crimes.

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