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Port Moresby
May 26, 2020

PNG Constitution Amendments First Reading passed

Parliament has given an overwhelming support tothe first reading ofthe proposed Constitutional Amendments.


The amendments to sections 124 and 145 ofthe Constitution seek to clarifythe minimum number of days parliament can sit in a year, and also increasethe number of days required from seven days to three months for a notice of no confidence to be given.


A heated debate erupted in parliament followingthe Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s introduction ofthe proposed Constitutional Amendments.


Mr. O’Neill toldthe housethe amendments will not removerthe provisions; however, seek to build onthe political stability and confidence of successive governments and our nation.


Minister for Public Service Sir Puka Temu was first to debate. He has served as Abau MP for three terms sain PNG desperately needs stability in its political arena to foster progress.


Similar sentiments came from cabinet ministers and middle benches. All saidtheir stance were on stability and development for the country now and for the years to come.


The opposition strongman Tobias Kulang labelledthe amendments as weakening our sovereignty as an independent and democratic country.


Madang Governor Jim Kas told parliament to addressthe organic law on integrity of political parties and candidates before amendingthe constitution. Mr. Kas saidthe abuse of merging parties and candidates needs to be addressed.


Member for Rabaul Open Dr. Allan Marat backed his two opposition MP’sand questioned government’s ability to be transparent and accountable after passing this bill.


The second and third readings will be made in two months’ time. During this timeframe, a nationwide consultation will be held to collectthe views ofthe public.


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