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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says the door is still open to the Opposition to move a motion of no confidence against him “when Parliament resumes in April 2021”.
“That is an opportune time for them to introduce the motion of no confidence,” he said.
“I would have played nasty and asked the leader of government business to push Parliament to a safer time when no motion of no confidence can be moved after 30 July, 2021.
“We are not stupid.”
Parliament approved a motion during Tuesday’s sitting attended by 50 MPs all from Government to adjourn to April. The Opposition had moved and passed last Friday to adjourn Parliament to 01 Dec.
But it was changed at Tuesday’s sitting.
Marape said the reason it was adjourned to April was to allow programmes earmarked for 2021 to start.
“The first few months in 2021 will be safe. We will start key programmes we envisioned to do in the 2021 budget,” he said.
“2021 is an important year of preparation for the 2022 national election.
“We need to conduct our national census, our common roll updates.
“We need to ensure a possible biometric system is introduced,” Marape said.
“From early January, we are ensuring that schools start on time.”
He said politics would not stop the executive government from functioning.
“We are in the business of retiring the 2020 supplementary budget.”
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has requested the Supreme Court to determine the legality of the Parliament sitting on Tuesday, including the passing of the 2021 national budget.
O’Neill’s lawyers Greg Sheppard and Philip Tabuchi of Young and Williams filed an application Wednesday raising “important constitutional questions of national importance”.
It could not be confirmed when the Supreme Court would make a ruling on the case.
O’Neill and Opposition MPs were absent from Parliament on Tuesday when 50 MPs on the Government side passed the 2021 budget.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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