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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

No-Confidence Grace Period Extension Supported In PNG
4 political parties hopeful amendments will pass in parliament

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 26, 2012) – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the support being expressed by the National Alliance party for the extension of the grace period from 18 months to 30 months.

The O’Neill-Dion Government proposes to introduce an amendment to section 145 of the Constitution to extend the grace period before a vote of no confidence can be introduced in a Prime Minister from 18 months to 30 months.

Cabinet approved the proposed amendment last month. It was gazetted and circulated by the Speaker and is ready to be introduced in Parliament this week.

The proposed change to section 145 is part of the Alotau Accord agreed to by coalition partners in Government to provide a stable climate for the Government to implement its policies highlighted in the accord.

Since the Prime Minister announced Cabinet’s approval of the proposed change, the People’s Party has expressed its support. Two week ago, the Governors met at the March Girls Resort outside Port Moresby and also agreed to support the change.

Last week, the National Alliance party met and also announced its support.

The Prime Minister’s People’s National Congress party also met and announced support for the change too.

In a statement yesterday, Mr. O’Neill welcomed the support of the four political parties.

He was also confident other coalition partners in Government and members of the Opposition would see the benefit of this change and support the amendment as well.

"Members of this Parliament understand the challenges facing our country and the opportunity we have now more than ever to address these challenges," Mr. O’Neill said.

"The policies we have identified in the Alotau Accord and the design and formulation of the 2013 Budget underlines our determination to begin the task of rebuilding our country.

"We have begun to lay the foundation with the National Anti Corruption Strategy we have approved; the SME Stimulus Package I announced last week; the free education and health care programs now fully funded; the proposed increase in police manpower to address law and order issues; and the massive infrastructure program we will undertake starting next year," Mr. O’Neill said.

"I believe 30 months, rather than 18, gives enough time for anyone to assess the performance of a government and Prime Minister and determine whether change is necessary.

"I am confident Parliament will speak as one when the amendment is brought to the floor of Parliament this week," the Prime Minister said.

PNG Post-Courier:
Copyright 2012 PNG Post-Courier. All Rights Reserved.

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