Papua New Guinea Members of Parliament (MPs) agreed Wednesday to increase the penalty for anyone breaching the Leadership Code from a three-year to a five-year suspension.

The three-year ban had been in place since Independence in 1975.

All MPs in the House voted in favour of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership (Amendment) Act 2023.

Prime Minister James Marape thanked the MPs “for making history”.

“We now change a law that was 48 years old.

“The three-year suspension term is now a five-year suspension term,” he said.

“This is historic.

“The country must be assured that leaders from both sides of the house take responsibility of leadership seriously.

“We have passed a law that will see anyone of us who step out of line face five years (suspension).”

Marape also announced that Morobe Governor Luther Wenge will be the chairman of the Ombudsman Committee Review.

“Wenge’s committee will get to work and we will then bring subsequent reports to protect our country as far as our code of conduct and anti-corruption is concerned, and at the same time, to serve Section 50 rights of the people,” Marape said.