Vote of No Confidence motion filed by PNG Opposition

The much talked about Vote of No Confidence motion was filed by the Papua New Guinea’s Opposition yesterday (Tuesday) at 5:45pm, after parliament adjourned to May 28.

Speaker Job Pomat, in a press conference after the sitting, said he will now allow due process to take place.

“I have received it. When parliament meets on the 28th (May), it will look at this notice, after it goes through the process of the Private Business Committee,” Pomat said.

He explained that Parliament may not necessarily vote on the 28th but with the motion notice given yesterday afternoon, this will go for the notice paper when parliament next meets.

 “The numbers showed today and that’s how the business of the day transpired, not the speaker deciding which side, they expressed it through their votes,” the speaker said.

“The three weeks’ adjournment also gives time to Opposition to go strategies and strengthen themselves, you all saw their numbers on the floor today (Tuesday).

“Vote of No Confidence it’s all about numbers, so if the opposition are aggrieved, they must also be happy that the adjournment gives them more time to go strategise their numbers.

“My call to all Papua New Guineans is let’s let the democratic process of parliament take its course,” Pomat added.  

Despite a motion moved yesterday by the Leader of the Opposition, Patrick Pruaitch, to have Job Pomat replaced by John Simon as Speaker of parliament, on grounds of bias, it was unsuccessful.

“There is no provision in the constitution of Papua New Guinea that allows or provides for the removal of the speaker. But I allowed them to vote.

“There is provision to remove the Prime Minister for Vote of No Confidence, there is provision to remove the Chief Justice, there is provision to remove the Governor General but none to remove the Speaker,” Pomat said.

“But I used my discretion today because they want us to show Papua New Guinea that I can accept it. But the law doesn’t allow it in the constitution,” he added.

The speaker who is also Deputy Leader of the Peoples’ National Congress party said although he is a PNC member, he remained neutral yesterday.  

“You all saw what I did. The votes spoke so we must respect the process of votes, process of democracy.

“I understand where the Opposition came from, so I accepted their motion they moved to vote out the speaker but normal process of vote on the floor said otherwise. Had the vote passed, today I would have been voted out and I will accept that because votes spoke.”

Meantime Alternate Prime Minister Nominee James Marape said they will not deviate from the course.

Marape said filing the notice is part of the process which parliament speaker has accepted.

“Even if we had filed it earlier, a vote would not be taken. What would have taken place is, we would have filed it today, the Private Members Committee would have sat tomorrow (Wednesday) and then Thursday would have come out as private business and be placed on notice.

“We will then adjourn for one week, and would have come back next week Thursday, that’s the process so it normal for us to file today.

“The public would have thought we would have had the Vote of No Confidence today, no.

“An adjournment by three weeks has given us good opportunity to not only reconfigure our coalition of like-minded leaders but in my view, finding the right leaders to make the right combination for a better government.

“Today we would have compromised quality of membership. Politics would have come into the page, just think of power. What has happened today is giving us additional three weeks so that right thinking leaders of this country can be assembled to move together.”

Meanwhile, Abau MP and former Health Minister Sir Puka Temu called on the speaker Job Pomat to resign from office.


Photo Loop PNG. Caption: The Alternate Government in a press conference yesterday (Tuesday)


Sally Pokiton