PNG govt to recall Parliament to pass emergency legislation

5:22 pm on 27 March 2020

Papua New Guinea's government is recalling Parliament in order to pass emergency legislation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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File photo of PNG's Parliament. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Melvin Levongo

Prime Minister James Marape's government this week declared a 14-day state of emergency with restrictions on movement and public gatherings.

Opposition leader Belden Namah warned that the state of emergency had no legal foundation until Parliament legislates a legal basis for the measures.

Although the government rejects Mr Namah's claim, Mr Marape said Parliament would now be recalled on 2 April, almost six weeks earlier than scheduled.

He said a proposed Emergency General Provisions Bill and a proposed Emergency Defence Bill would be tabled.

The bill aimed to ensure the country had the "necessary legal instruments" to be in legal compliance and "do the right thing going forward".

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