PNG's opposition tables motion of no confidence against PM

8:06 pm on 21 April 2021

Papua New Guinea's opposition has tabled another parliamentary motion of no confidence against Prime minister James Marape.

It's an amended version of a motion filed last November which threw national politics into disarray for weeks.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill talks to the media as he visits the international media center, set up for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Port Moresby on November 14, 2018. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

Photo: AFP or licensors

The opposition has listed Ialibu-Pangia MP and former prime minister Peter O'Neill as nominee to replace Mr Marape.

This comes after the National Alliance party leader, Patrick Pruaitch who was the opposition's initial nominee, moved to the government.

The motion has to be approved by parliament's private business committee before proceeding to a confidence vote.

Last December, parliament adjourned before the opposition's planned motion of no confidence against Marape could be tabled.

The previous month, mass defections from Marape's coalition government had left him without a majority. However following weeks of political unrest, Marape regained the support of a majority of MPs before having parliamrnt adjourned to this week.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape addresses media regarding a Supreme Court ruling relating to parliament. 9 December, 2020.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape addresses media regarding a Supreme Court ruling relating to parliament. 9 December, 2020. Photo: PNG PM Media

While it's unclear whether the opposition has now lured back the numbers to successfully move a motion against the prime minister, O'Neill said it was about holding the government to account.

Speaking at a press conference following today's parliament proceedsing, opposition leader Belden Namah said it was important for people to know the reasons for the motion.

"You might be asking: Why a motion of no confidence at a time when the country is gripped by a global health pandemic, when the economy is in negative growth, when our people's jobs and businesses are disappearing and with a national general election just 15 months away?

"Our answer is this: it is precisely because of the reasons above that we move this motion," Namah said.

Criticising Marape's handling of the economy, job shortages and the worsening Covid-19 outbreak in the country, Namah said Marape "must go before he runs this country to the ground".

Namah said O'Neill was PNG's immediate past prime minister and needed no introduction.

"We have every confidence he can stabilise the nation and its economy before the national general elections."

Vanimo MP Belden Namah

Vanimo MP Belden Namah Photo: RNZ / Alex Smith