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Opposition Walks out of Parliament in Protest

By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The parliament witnessed a near confrontation on its floors on Friday morning when the Opposition walked out in protest over the referral of Madang MP, Bryan Kramer, to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee.

Mr. Kramer’s referral follows an article he published on social media, Facebook, regarding the purported decision to ban Facebook.

According to the Opposition, the referral is a demonstration of the Government encroaching on citizens’ constitutional rights to Freedom Of Expression.

Parliament met on Friday morning (June 1st) with the first order of the day, the Speaker’s response to a matter raised by Member for Tewai-Siassi regarding a Facebook post by Madang MP, Bryan Kramer.

Parliament Speaker, Jobn Pomat, began by handing down his decision on the matter.

Whilst the Speaker was delivering his decision, a point of order was raised by Opposition Leader, Patrick Pruaitch.

The Opposition Members then walked-out of the Chamber, which subsequently saw the Chamber erupt in a shouting match, with emotions running high on both sides of the house.

The Opposition held a Media conference immediately after walking-out of the Chamber, with its Members criticising the decision of the Speaker to refer Mr Kramer to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee.

The Opposition went further to claim that the move by the Speaker compromised the independence of the Legislature, with claims that this was all in line with moves to clamp down on free-speech.

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