NO CONFIDENCE AMENDMENT TO DOMINATE PNG PARLIAMENT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 9) - Leader
of Government Business Peter O'Neill yesterday confirmed that the main agenda
for Parliament would be the Constitutional Amendment - Motion of No Confidence
Law.

The motion introduced by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare was
basically to extend the grace period for no-confidence votes from 18 to 36
months.

Mr O'Neill, who is also Public Service Minister, said the
Government would today try to muster the required 73 votes to pass the first
opportunity vote on the amendment.

And while the Government numbers are still intact, Parliament
would also put a vote on the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties
and Candidates for the second and final votes.

However, Mr O'Neill's plans could face opposition from within
the Government ranks following a meeting of backbenchers yesterday, whereby many
openly spoke against supporting the Constitutional amendment.

Parliament was also set to debate the Bill relating to police
presence abroad, particularly concerning the deployment of police personnel in
Solomon Islands.

Mr O'Neill would also present a ministerial statement on public
sector reform, Health Minister Melchior Pep to present the 2001 annual
management report, and Foreign Affairs Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu would table
the International Treaty Agreement to ratify the MOU on the establishment of the
Pacific Forum Line.

Mr O'Neill said other outstanding issues from previous sessions
would also be discussed in this session so that November is left free to
concentrate on the 2004 budget.

September 9, 2003

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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