Paita: Expect changes

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By GYNNIE KERO and REBECCA KUKU
THE People’s National Congress Party MPs and its leader Peter O’Neill are expected to be moved to the Opposition benches from today, as the Government makes changes to the composition of its coalition.
Leader of Government Business and Finance Minister Rainbo Paita told The National yesterday that it would be an “interesting” two-week session of Parliament.
“Some major decisions will be made this week on the composition of both the Government and the Opposition,” he said.
He did not elaborate but it is understood that it also included changes to Cabinet portfolios.
Paita said Parliament would sit for two weeks to:

  • elect an Opposition Leader to replace Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah who the court says is “still suspended”;
  • debate on an amendment to the Pandemic Bill;
  • vote on the ICAC Bill and the Electronic Transaction Bill.

It is expected to vote on the amendment to the Superannuation (General Provisions) Act which needs to be approved by Parliament to allow members of superfunds who have been laid off to withdraw part of their retirement savings.
“And an assessment report on the Covid-19 will also be presented and discussion on whether to extend the state of emergency or not,” Paita said.
On the changes to the seating arrangements in the House, Prime Minister James Marape said in a statement the People’s National Congress Party (PNC) MPs “will no longer have seats in the Government benches”.
“PNC Party members continue to participate in the Government caucus but speak as opposition to my Government,” he said.
“So it is only fair that all of them are (grouped) in the Opposition to speak fair and freely against the Government, as their leader has been doing.”
He said O’Neill “continues to oppose Government in the media, in court and in person”.
“It is only fair that he opposes formally from the opposite benches,” he said.
“My Government is cleaning up on a lot of mess, the last one year due to the O’Neill-led government (years of) recklessness, camouflaging with shady infrastructural contracts and feel-good public policies like free education that gave them the licence to recklessness.
“That mess, we the present Government have inherited and are responsibly cleaning, including settling their debts and liabilities.”
In response, O’Neill said last night it was “an old story”.
“He (Marape) said the same thing six months ago. PNC is already sitting in the middle benches and we will support any legislation that is in the interest of our country and the people,” O’Neill said.
“The PNC caucus will meet and discuss any proposed legislation as it comes before the House.”
O’Neill had earlier said the party had 17 MPs including recently-elected Menyamya MP Benjamin Philip.

14 comments

  • Thanks PMJM, yes in order for the country to run in and better direction you need to put the house in order first.

    • Applaud Hon. Minister Finance and Leader Govt Business for the announcement of decommissioning and moving PNC PNC MPs with their leader to opposition.Its in the best interests of the people of PNG the Minister Pila Niningi & Minister Nali follow their leader to the other side. People are watching this Gov’t please move them now. Minister Niningi has let this Marape Steven Govt in big ways esp when he deliver policy decisions. He creates big mass for this govt to fix coz of his illogical thinking. Please move the immediately to the opposition as it would be unfair to keep them in the house.

  • PMJM you were the Finance Minister until you stole from PO.
    don’t blame PO only, say, we the previous government, include yourself.

  • Each MPs should make discission who will seat in Government bench, middle bench or the opposed benches. I don’t think, government can dictate to force them to do that.

  • We have paying for Government over years and we still praying and some Christians have died and gone to heaven already.
    Always there is fighting going on in BIG HOUSE MAN and not even one single member humble himself.All appointed Prime Ministers and members never change in their attitudes
    There is evil in that Parliament House.Demolish it and rebuild it and spend all the money for construction of New House Man.
    The true leaders will humble himself and never complains for any critics and blames lay

  • Well destroying of parliament house and rebuilding is too costly in this time because the government have no money. All humans are created by God and we know what’s wrong and right. We choose wrong that’s why we kept doing it.
    I do like the way PM is thinking and doing but only those who are behind him must be as well leaders of change to carry this nation forward.

    And PO should be sitting at the opposition bench for the upcoming parliament sitting to fully raise your views.Your views are good on the other hand to move our country for good governance.

  • James marape was a snr minister in PO led govt so for him so allege corrupt deals by po govt is hypocritical and shows lack of maturity. Anyway we still waiting to hear how you will make png the richest black nation on earth!!

  • The decision to move PNC to opposition is timely and Marape Steven Gov’t is applauded for the strategic move to the right direction. It is feeding and fair to move Hon. Member Pila Niningi & Minister Nali as well to the opposition immediately with their leader PO. Minister Niningi was very under performing Minister both under O’Neil and now Marape Govt and should be removed immediately. When he was higher Education Minister he suspense University Board leaving endless legal battles within the board and now when he was Inter govt Minister he suspense top board Management of Juha PDL9 PNG LNG projects SPA board and leaving them to fight unnecessarily in court. People are watching interesting the movement of the greed and self serving indecisive mps who are potential threat to portray very bad image to Marape steven Gov’t big economic policies. Please remove them with their opposition leader immediately.

  • julie beu,

    past is an history.. and the history are never forgotten. history do(replay, repeated). GOD has given your the will. You are here to guid it…..

  • in legislative government, paliarment has its own ruling, to move PNC to opposition is big issues or matter. to rule a government they look into party coalition who have the number. This will be an arguement and debate on it,. marape should think ..I think PNC still has number 17 members majority in paliarment. we see.

  • Well done my good Prime Minister. Now this is what I call democracy. You do not fear that the opposition will grow in number nor do you fear PNC party. Moving PNC to the opposition will allow them to formally argue with your government in parliament thus creating better decisions for our country moving forward. When with great power comes great responsibility. When you are Prime Minister you have to make some big decisions. Therefore, our good Prime Minister you have shown that you are a man without fear or favor, and is ready to “Take back PNG.”

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