PNG arm wrestle as both sides claim numbers
PNG in crisis: the citizens express anxiety

Somare runs scared: House out for four months

It seems the PNG Opposition had more votes in its pocket than the Somare Government gave it credit for.

AAP’s Ilya Gridneff reports from Port Moresby that angry scenes erupted in the House of Assembly this afternoon after the government avoided a motion of no-confidence by adjourning Parliament for four months until November.

“MPs hurled abuse at each other across the chamber and security officers had to restrain members of the public who voiced their frustration when the government won the adjournment vote on Wednesday,” Gridneff wrote.

Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta said the Somare government is running scared, so much so that the PNG Constitutional was breached to avoid the no-confidence vote.

"Yesterday Somare said he had the numbers to block a vote of no-confidence, today he adjourned,” Sir Mekere said. “The government is worried, it is fractured. He is afraid to face the music, the Constitution, he will go down in history as someone who has threatened democracy."

Sir Mekere will refer Sir Michael, the Speaker Jeffery Nape and the leader of government business Paul Tiensten to the Ombudsman Commission for violating the Constitution.

Opposition member Sir Julius Chan, a former prime minister, said PNG was not in political limbo but "now in hell".

Some government backbenchers said a series of scandals and corruption motivated them to swap sides.

Yesterday Sir Michael said he had the numbers to defeat a no-confidence vote.

In what was clearly a contrivance, a government spokesman excused the adjournment as allowing for "much needed refurbishments" to Parliament House.

Source: ‘MPs in uproar as PNG parliament adjourns’ by Ilya Gridneff, AAP, 29 July 2009. With thanks to Paul Oates


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Graham Pople

I find it appalling that the Deputy Prime Minister, and more often recently acting Prime Minister, has such scant regard for the Constitution that he "is not concerned" that it has been breached by his Government.

Thirty-one days sitting when the Constitution
stipulates 63 and Puka Temu is not concerned.

The obvious conclusion to this is that the Government considers itself above the Constitution on which their source of power, Parliament, is based.

Surely this statement will provide the Opposition with the extra power it is seeking to remove the Government.

Gelab Piak

I always said a tyrant regime must exist in the Parliament House. Why? Because it is corrupt beyond rampant (I don't know how to describe it).

No real sign of development for seven years of National Alliance rule (where is the revenue from 2002-08?). And PNG has been degraded and is now an underdeveloped country. The Government has lost the focus and vision to develop the country, their interest lies elsewhere.

The ordinary Papua New Guineans see it as something that is political but they do know a change of Government will affect them in the long run, in PNG's case a change of Government for the better.

And if that cannot happen on the floor of Parliament, then I see no reason why it can't happen on the streets. Let us, the people, have a say. We must stand for our priceless freedom.

Like the PNG nationalist slogan says: Divided we stand, but together we'll fall. PNG for Democracy.

Paul Oates

Since when must a Parliament only meet in Parliament House?

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