The National, Tuesday, May 10, 2011
By ISAAC NICHOLAS
PARLIAMENT resumes at 2pm today to clear a back-log of government agenda, leader of government business Paul Tiensten said yesterday.
There will be a new-look opposition bench after Vanimo-Green MP and PNG Party leader Belden Namah was elected leader and Bulolo MP Sam Basil as his deputy, taking over from Sir Mekere Morauta and Bart Philemon respectively.
Tiensten said parliament would sit for three weeks this month and three weeks each for the next three months to clear the backlog of notices.
He said new legislative amendments and bills would go before this session of parliament.
The Pomio MP and Minister for National Planning and District Development said the marathon session was to meet the 63-day per parliament calendar year requirement.
“There are legislations and bills that must be dealt with by parliament, including the outstanding women’s bill to have nominated women representation, increasing the number of ministries from 28 to 31, legislations to effect the new Hela and Jiwaka provinces and amendments to the Organic Law to retain provincial governments after the elections next year.”
Tiensten said there would be ministerial statements and debate on important issues of national interest.
This session will be free of any threats of a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.
The law did not allow for votes of no-confidence 12 month before the issue of writs for the next general election.
The opposition was expected to touch on the K125 million Nasfund loan, the suspension of special agriculture and business lease, outstanding Taiwan deal, Singapore account and asylum issues.