PM brushes aside talks of vote of no confidence

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By Rebecca Kuku and Jeffrey Elapa
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is unperturbed by talks among Opposition MPs to move a vote of no confidence motion against him, saying he has better things to spend his time on.
“I will not waste my time on silly games played by the Opposition. They have no numbers and they are desperate. Everyone knows that except them,” he said.
He told The National that Parliament’s first sitting for 2019 today would mainly focus on normal government business.
The Opposition had announced on Friday that eight Government MPs were crossing the floor in anticipation of the motion it planned to move when the grace period of O’Neill’s government expires on Feb 5.
However, the names of the eight are yet to be disclosed.
O’Neill said he was not aware of anyone from his side crossing the floor, and challenged the Opposition to reveal the names.
“I have better things to do with my time to bring more development and services to my people than to be deterred by the Opposition statement on a vote of no-confidence motion,” he said.
“So tomorrow’s (today) parliament session will be on normal government business as usual.”
Meanwhile yesterday, lawyers representing the State filed a special Supreme Court reference to interpret the section of the Constitution which relates to the moving of a vote of no confidence.
Attorney-General and Justice Minister Steven Davis filed the special reference yesterday through Twivey Lawyers.
The Government is requesting the Supreme Court to interpret certain constitutional provisions in relation to a vote of no-confidence motion against a prime minister, stemming from the Supreme Court reference of November 2015 by then Opposition leader Don Polye, and the Supreme Court ruling of July 2016.
Opposition Leader Patrick Pruiatch told The National yesterday he hoped Parliament would not let this court reference interfere with its work.

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