THE vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, promised by the opposition, may not take placeon Tuesday. Justice Minister and Attorney-General Ano Pala said the 2011 budget and the 2010 supplementary budget would take precedence over all other parliamentary business next Tuesday. Finance and Treasury had issued a “budget lock-up” statement for the media from 10am to 2pm when parliament resumes. Finance, Treasury and Public Service Minister Peter O’Neill, when contacted last night, said the abudget had been approved by cabinet and he looked forward to introducing it next Tuesday. O’Neill declined to give details on next year’s budget, claiming that key areas such as the medium-term development plan, district service improvement programme (DSIP) and other government priorities would be addressed. Pala said as far as he was concerned, there was no notice of a vote of no-confidence before the house. “At the moment, there is no notice of vote of no-confidence before parliament.” The attorney-general and justice minister said the meeting of parliament on Tuesday was specifically called to introduce next year’s budget. “We are not privy to any information that comes up, and we are not aware of any notice of the vote becoming a property of parliament,” he said. Pala said the budget would be handed down next Tuesday, and that would be the main agenda for the government. “Parliament will resume on Tuesday for the handing down of the 2011 budget, and we have to wait for what comes out in the notice paper.” He said the 11 Southern region MPs had declared their loyalty to the prime minister in passing bills in parliamentPala said: “We will be voting together with the government.
“We are now a family of 11 MPs who are members of NA.”
A senior parliament source stated last night that there was no notice of a motion before parliament at this stage and the session next Tuesday was restricted to the budget.
“It all depends on the government to suspend standing orders to introduce the budget.
“In all democracies, it is all about the numbers game.”
The source said private business committees always seat in on Wednesdays to consider notices and petitions to be brought before the house in any session.
“The vote of no-confidence notice has not come to the attention of parliament and the committee.”