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PNG Politics : Vote of No Confidence against PM O'Neill not be entertained on May 28

The much participated  Vote of No Confidence motion against the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will not be moved on the 28th of May.

Acting Parliamentary Counsel Richard Whitchurch explained this was so because the Private Business Committee that screens all private business motions did not sit on Wednesday last week, as parliament was adjourned.

In a question and answer session with the media today on parliamentary processes, the Acting Parliamentary Counsel clarified that the Vote of No Confidence motion against the Prime Minister will not be moved when parliament resumes on 28th May.

He explained that the constitutional legal requirements have not been met yet.

Under the standing orders 130 (4), a notice of motion, given under section 145 of the Constitution is a private notice motion.

Pursuant to Standing order 130 (1) a notice of a motion of no confidence is submitted to the Chairman of the Private Business Committee, who is also the Speaker.

That committee meets each Wednesdays, during meetings of parliament to examine all notices of motion submitted to the Committee, who determine whether the terms of the motion are a matter of national importance.

Since Parliament was adjourned from 7th May, and the Leader of the Opposition filing the VoNC motion at 5:45pm, members of the PBC have not yet met to examine the motion.

The Acting Parliamentary Counsel further explained that the notice of motion cannot appear on the Notice paper with a number under private business notice and orders of the day without going through the committee first.

Furthermore, any notice can be dealt with in parliament, after a minimum of 7 days clearance.

“Until these constitutional legal procedures are followed, we cannot move forward with VoNC,” Whitchurch said.

The next opportunity to progress the VoNC motion will be after May 28, if parliament does not adjourn. This allows the Private Business Committee to meet on Wednesday May 29 to examine the Opposition’s motion,

Officers from the Office of the Clerk of the National Parliament went on to explain that notices can sit for months without being moved in parliament, but can lapse after three meetings of parliament.

A meeting of parliament is when parliament convenes, and it consists of sitting days.

LoopPNG/PacNews/PNG Today

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