Marape: Government ploy to stop vote, disappointing

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The Opposition  has  gone on the offensive accusing  the government of attempting to delay  and defeat the vote of no confidence motion outside Parliamentary process.

Senior members of the Opposition delivered the vote of no confidence motion to the speaker this afternoon.  But there are serious concerns that the government is tampering with the process.

The Opposition’s nominee  for Prime Minister,  Tari-Pori MP, James Marape, was also  furious at the manner in which  the speaker ruled against an early resumption of Parliament.   James Marape also  told the media that the government removed  opposition MPs who were on a  Parliamentary Private Members  committee  that  decides  on the validity of votes of no confidence motions.

“What has happened today is that you saw a ploy by Prime  Minister, Peter O’Neill’s government to sabotage the process of  a  vote of no confidence motion.  They removed membership of the private members committee  which had  Hela Governor Phillip Undialu and Southern Highlands Governor William Powi.

“They put members on the committee who are pro government. We are appealing to the speaker that they must not stand against the will of the people.”

In Parliament,  speaker job Pomat allowed a  motion to adjourn the  house  to May 28th, much to the dismay  of the Opposition  who sought  to have the next session on the week of the 15th.

“What showed today was that the  Prime Minister was not confident on the numbers  on the government side.”

After parliament  rose, Speaker Job Pomat held his own news conference to explain parliamentary processes saying he had received the vote of no confidence  motion  and that  due process would have to be followed.

“Today I made rulings that I had to make. The rulings were based on votes. The numbers showed it. I want the people of Papua New Guinea to know that this is the process of democracy. I was not forced. It was my decision.”

In previous years, Speakers have  faced the brunt of the Opposition’s ire for making decisions seen to be  in favor of the government side.   Speaking in the that context,  Pomat said the democratic process demanded  that decisions followed parliamentary process.

The government plans to use period between now and the 28th to reorganize  its numbers. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said  ministries would be allocated to new people to fill in vacancies.   In PNG politics, some of those ministries will  be offered to coalition and opposition  members to boost and maintain the government’s numbers.

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