The National – Thursday, June 16, 2011
In Parliament with ISAAC NICHOLAS and JEFFREY ELAPA
PARLIAMENT was forced to adjourn on the second day of this session due to lack of quorum.
Speaker Jeffery Nape, who walked into the chambers after the bells had rang for an hour starting at 10am, asked the clerk to count the numbers and suspended parliament to this morning.
The session time starts at 10 o’clock every morning but, as in the past, it normally starts an hour late.
Leader of government business Paul Tiensten has appealed to members of parliament to turn up and deal with important government business.
Tiensten made the call yesterday after parliament was adjourned.
Only 35 MPs turned up, two short of the 37 MPs required for a quorum for the session to go ahead.
The adjournment yesterday was not new as the last session failed to muster quorums for debate.
“It is unfortunate that the government had the numbers while most MPs were still doing other businesses outside the chambers when it was adjourned,” Tiensten said.
The Pomio MP, who turned up straight after parliament adjourned, said that he was out of the chambers sorting out district services improvement programme (DSIP) funds with the Office of Rural Development officers.
Tiensten said the ORD officers turned up at parliament when the session was to start at 10am.
“There are important ministerial statements and bills to go through this session of parliament and I call on all MPs to be present.”
Bills that needed parliament support included enabling legislations for the Hela and Jiwaka provinces, the Women’s Bill and electoral boundaries.
“Members of parliament are paid to represent their people and we should all make an effort to attend all sittings of parliament,” Tiensten said.