The Vote of No Confidence has been defeated with an overwhelming 85 to 21 votes in favour of Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister in today’s special parliament sitting.
The opposition came into the chamber knowing they didn’t have the numbers to win but used the opportunity to air their frustrations against the Prime Minister.
At the end of the session, the opposition left disappointed not only at losing the vote but in what they claim as suppression to fully debate the motion.
The government did what they promised, hold together and defeat the Vote of No Confidence. However before the vote was taken, there was over an hour of heated debate which included pointing of fingers, out of order point of orders and swearing.
Keeping with the specifics of the court order, the speaker allowed debate before the vote was taken. Sam Basil as sponsor of the motion outlined the opposition’s reasons for the motion which included, the lack of debate of the 2016 budget, implementation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Paraka payment issue, disbanding of taskforce sweep and the LNG revenue.
Then Kelly Naru, who had declared allegiance to the rule of law during the week of lobbying, outlined legal reasons for siding with O’Neill.
Following this, Kavieng member Ben Micah talked about telling the truth where he accused members of parliament of not taking into consideration the truth about issues that affect the nation.
From the government, leader of Government Business and Finance Minister, James Marape, was the only one who spoke formally during the debate.
He said the motion was “hollow” and was used to cause instability and chaos. He said the government has delievered on 90 per cent of its promises.
Towards the end of Marape’s speech, the speaker stopped debate and moved to take the vote.
This did not go down well with the opposition who still had plenty more to say.
Member for Vanimo Green, Belden Namah, accused the speaker of hijacking the parliament procedure.
His refusal to sit down, and the ensuring screaming match that followed from both sides of the house. In an attempt to restore order on the floor of parliament, the speaker stood up. According to parliamentary standing orders, when the speaker stands all members are to sit down.
After reminding the house of that standing order, the parliament quietened down and the vote was taken.