PNG Acting Speaker Rules No-Confidence Move ‘Defective’

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Frustrated Opposition vows to correct, resubmit notice of motion

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 30, 2015) – Acting Speaker Aide Ganasi yesterday rejected a vote of no-confidence notice in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, claiming defects.

It was a calculated political move to frustrate the Opposition, whose Members led by Leader Don Polye and his deputy Sam Basil, stormed out of the chamber before the Government moved a confidence vote to keep People’s National Congress and Mr O’Neill until 2017 elections.

When the House met an hour late at 11am it was parliamentary practice under the Standing Orders that a notice of vote of no-confidence takes precedence over all other business, thus Mr Ganasi made a ruling that he rejected the vote of no-confidence motion in the Prime Minister citing defects both in form and substance. The Opposition immediately called a media conference to announce they will correct those defects referred to by the acting Speaker and re-submit another notice of motion.

[PIR editor’s note: The National reported that ‘Deputy Opposition leader Sam Basil says the Opposition is the only Government institution left to hold Prime Minister Peter O’Neill accountable for any alleged official corruption practices. ... "He has removed the Task Force Sweep Team that he had set up to investigate corruption when he was implicated in some corruption cases," Basil said. He said the police force too had been affected. ... "So it is left to the Opposition now to remove him."]

The Government immediately moved confidence vote in Prime Minister O’Neill with a 78-2 vote majority and immediately adjourned the House to next Tuesday for the 2017 Budget presentation.

[PIR editor’s note: PNG Post Courier reported that ‘Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has thanked his political colleagues for their commitment to the Government and to ongoing political stability in the nation. ... Speaking after the vote of confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership on the floor of the Parliament yesterday, Mr O’Neill said it was high time for the Opposition to put the welfare of the country above all else.’]

Leader of Government Business James Marape moved the confidence motion seconded by National Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch. Marape then delivered his motion speech after decision by the Acting Speaker.

Opposition Leader Don Polye was not present in the Chamber when the confidence vote took place. Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil, Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah, Rabaul MP Allan Marat, Kikori MP Mark Maipakai, Porgera-Lagaip MP Nixon Mangape and Rai Coast MP James Gau walked out when Mr Marape was delivering his speech. Only two Opposition MPs Goilala MP Willam Samb, and Nothern Governor Gary Juffa voted against the Motion. After adjournment, Mr Pruaitch, URP Party leader William Duma and PPP leader Ben Micah publicly gave their support to the ruling PNC-led Government and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. They said that they will support the O’Neill-led Government until 2017, when the country goes to polls.

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