Debate on Constitutional Amendments

Public Service Minister Sir Puka Temu told parliament that successive governments have rushed bills throughthe house which were not necessarily inthe nation’s interest.

Sir Puka madethe statement during grievance debate as he urged members to thoroughly analyzethe constitutional amendments beforethe house.

The amendments include transparency of in motions of a vote of no confidence andthe calling of parliament.

The Government’say this is to ensure stability.

Constitution section 124 deals withthe “Calling of Parliament” bythe Speaker. It’seeks to reducethe minimum number of sittings days from 63 to 40 days.

This provision ofthe Constitution has not been compllied with by many Parliament sittings inthe past because of a continuous lack of quorum.

Many parliamentarians werethen subject tothe LLeadersip Code of Conduct and hefty fines bythe courts.

The reduction to 40 days means thatthe Parliament is able to comply and plan its sittings better.

Those in support of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s proposal to amendthe motion ofthe vote no confidence on a prime minister or minister referredtheir arguments tothe 2012 takeover ofthe Somare regime.

Minister for Environment and Conservation John Pundari was first to debatethe onthe topic.

Mr. Pundari took his hat off to former Prime MinistersSir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan for their contributions as head of governance.

He urged all members to be content withtheir portfolios and not go through back doors to snatch prime ministership.

Minister for Public Service Sir Puka Temu also put his hand up in support ofthe amendments.

Sir Puka said since 2005 successive governments had bulldozed amendments tothe constitution without thorough debate.

He encouraged thorough debates and also urged members to give more emphasis to respective provinces and improver for the better.

Beth ministers were also part ofthe Somare regime that was ousted bythe O’Neill Namah in 2012 in a motion on a vote of no confidence.

They said Papua New Guineaneeded political stability to progress throughthe predicted economic boom.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill saidthese legislative changes are being made to underpin continued long term political stability, investor confidence and predictability of good governance of our national affairs – a status quo that has been lacking sinceIndependence.

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