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PNG Politics : O'Neill Govt using courts to avoid VONC, says Marape

PNG's Tari-Pori MP  and former Finance Minister James Marape, who is also Opposition’s alternative prime minister, said a vote of no confidence is a serious matter and must be entertained in Parliament.

James Marape
“I want to sound it out to the government that if you are confident with your numbers don’t unnecessarily adjourn Parliament again. Don’t even use the court to say it is subjudice because there is an existing Supreme Court ruling saying that VONC is a serious matter and the Parliamentary Committee must sit and dispense of it forthwith,” Mr Marape told a news conference yesterday.

“So we expect the parliament committee to sit on Wednesday, in between Tuesday to the following Thursday or Friday we have 10 days of sitting and that’s a long enough time for the UBS Report to be tabled on the floor of parliament at anytime so everyone of us can decide and preferably for me, the earlier the better because I am still the alternate prime ministerial candidate on our side.”

When asked about his comments to the Stay Order application filed in court on the VONC, Mr Marape said the government is now deploying a strategy to use the court to stall the process of VONC .

“It is only fair for him to reaffirm his mandate by allowing the process to run when we resume on the 28th (May) and have a fair go. We are not irrational here if numbers are firm on his side then he allows the committee to sit in its wisdom and if it runs through the week and we resume the following Thursday 30th of May and if he defeats my number. For me I am settled, it shows that he still has the confidence of parliament to run the affairs of the nation.”

Commenting on the statement by Henganofi MP Robert Atiyafa in his electorate that the proposed VONC will not topple Prime Minister Peter O’Neill because the alternative government has not clearly stated their policies on how they can change the country but propagate baseless allegations against the Prime Minister. Mr Atiyafa was recently appointed through a motion in Parliament as a member of the Private Business Committee who will deliberate on any motion of no confidence.

Mr Marape described the statement by Atiyafa as very crude and rough. “A member cannot preempt what the committee will conclude on without the benefit of the committee sitting, it’s just not democratic, I think there is a court ruling in the Polye matter that clearly affirms that vote of no confidence is a serious matter and the committee has no part in really sabotaging or evading a motion on foot so long as it complies with every provision of the Standing Order.

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