No-confidence vote in PNG gov't delayed due to parliamentary procedure

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-07 11:54:39|Editor: Liangyu
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SYDNEY, May 7 (Xinhua) -- A vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and the Papua New Guinea government will not take place on Tuesday as previously scheduled.

After a series of high-profile defections from government ranks, opposition parties claim to have the backing of 57 members of parliament, enough to gain a majority in the 111-seat parliament and oust the current leadership.

But with a vote of no-confidence scheduled to take place, acting Clerk of Parliament Kala Aufa advised last night that no such motion would go ahead, citing parliamentary procedure.

"A motion for the vote of no confidence is a private members bill," Aufa told local newspaper the Post Courier.

"It is their requirement to serve it to the Speaker, he then will give it to the Clerk and the technical team to go through to make sure that it is procedurally correct."

"Then it will go before the Private Business Committee, which the Speaker chairs ... to determine whether a motion should be sent to Parliament for a vote."

According to Aufa, if the Private Business Committee believe the vote of no-confidence to be of a "parochial nature" and not of national significance, the bill will then be sent back to the opposition with recommendations.

"So it is Wednesday afternoon, or Thursday morning, it will be on Notice Paper, seven days minimum starting Thursday, which means that by Thursday the following week, which is the 16th, it will satisfy the requirement of the seven days."

The situation in Port Moresby remains tense with around 1,000 extra police reported to have been sent to the capital in case of civil unrest.