RELUCTANT PNG GOVERNMENT TO RECALL PARLIAMENT

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Budget, other pressing matters need attention

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 7, 2010) - There are reports in Papua New Guinea (PNG) that the Government is planning to recall Parliament later this month or early next month.

The last session of Parliament ended acrimoniously in July when the Speaker adjourned the body just one day into the sitting to ensure that the Opposition could not place a motion for a vote of no confidence.

The next scheduled session is November but PNG political scientist, Dr. Alphonse Gelu, says the Government has realized that time is running out to pass critical legislation.

He says this includes a supplementary budget, and constitutional changes allowing for two new provinces and 22 new regional seats in Parliament, reserved for women.

[PIR editor’s note: Post Courier reports that the "Supplementary Budget Bill will total about 533 million kina [US$197 million] and indications are that its 2011 budget is likely to achieve the 8 billion kina [US$3 billion] mark."]

"They want to recall Parliament because they want to get some of these really outstanding bills through. One of them is the 22 reserved seats for women, because if you look at the timing from now until next year, 2011, you’ll find the timing is not appropriate. I think we are running short of time and the Government has been warned about this."

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