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Parliament to be recalled for special session

THE PNG PARLIAMENT may be recalled for a special session to introduce 22 reserved seats for female members of parliament and to pass a K530 million supplementary budget.

The full 2011 budget, to be brought down in November, is expected to program an expenditure of K8 billion.

Parliament had been shut down early in July after support for Sir Michael Somare deteriorated, falling to about 60 of the 86 MPs who elected him prime minister.

Despite Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu leading three ministers out of the cabinet, Sir Michael shored up his support to hold off a vote of no confidence by adjourning Parliament until November.

He clearly feels the political climate is now running in his favour.

Port Moresby-based Syd Yates, Head of Kina Securities said the supplementary budget comes as a welcome surprise. "It's come about because of some increases in that resource price that they didn't budget for so they need to have the supplementary budget to spend it."

A hitch for the government is that it doesn’t automatically have the 83 absolute majority to pass the women’s bill. It will need twelve Opposition votes to get it through.

Meanwhile, a planned protest march by anti-corruption activists did not go ahead yesterday.

Metropolitan police commander Supt Tokanini Akuila advised the demonstration had been cancelled due to preparations for the country’s independence anniversary next week.

Protest organiser Noel Anjo said he respected the decision of the police and pleaded for public peace and order.

“We will go ahead with the march after the independence to demand the government convene parliament so certain outstanding issues like the Maladina and the environment amendment bills and the controversial reappointment of the governor-general are addressed,” Mr Anjo said.


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