PLANNED PORT MORESBY PROTEST WORRIES GOVERNOR

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March against bill to limit ombudsman’s powers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 29, 2010) – The Governor of Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District has offered to organise a meeting between NGOs and MP Moses Maladina to discuss his parliamentary bill that would remove powers from the Ombudsman Commission.

The newspaper, The National, reports Powes Parkop as saying he is playing the middleman because he doesn’t want to see a planned protest march against the bill go ahead in Port Moresby due to the potential destruction if protestors lose control.

The march is being planned by the Community Coalition Against Corruption group, one of a number of NGOs concerned over what they see as a move to weaken the Ombudsman’s powers.

Under the proposed legislation, the Commission would no longer be able to refer politicians to the Leadership Tribunal, or prevent MPs from using Electoral Development Funds for anything but earmarked projects in their electorates.

Mr Parkop says while some of the proposed amendments should be changed, some have merits and that the bill must be scrutinised properly.

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