Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says the Opposition is more than welcome to attempt a vote of no confidence (VONC) against him when Parliament resumes in May.

Parliament rose Thursday and adjourned to May, acting speaker Koni Iguan said the motion of no confidence against Marape did not qualify to be listed on the notice paper.

Marape denied that the adjournment was done to avoid a vote of no confidence against him.

“Far from the truth, we have not run away we have very here since 06 February 2024 and opposition have failed to produce their numbers and neither have they can complied with basic constitutional requirements of VONC processes,” he said.

“In a serious matter to change a legitimate government elected in a majority seat through the process of elections, those who want to do it must follow due processes and secondly have the majority of MPs to cause a serious change.

“Today when acting Speaker indicated that the motion did not qualify to be listed, the Opposition indicated that they had a second motion submitted on February 20, 2024 and not the second one acting Speaker received on 14 February 2024.

Marape pointed out that the Constitution, Parliamentary Standing Orders, and the recent Supreme Court rulings have clearly outlined the procedures for such motions.

He stressed the importance of following due process when attempting to change a legitimately elected government that holds a majority in Parliament and stated that merely having a desire for change was not enough and that the opposition must adhere to the established procedures and command the majority of members to effect a significant shift in government.

“I was informed also that certain leaders said they did not sign the second motion yet their names and signatures were used on the motion.

“This is a serious potential forgery and the Private Members Committee might look into this claim of forgery.

“We have the original motions lodged and so if MPs signatures were not properly secured for the second or third motion then it is serious abuse of processes and trust on the part of the leadership of the alternative government.

“We will be back in May, they most welcomed to attempt again. I will get a formal press statement out on this.

“This one is to clear up some misconceptions, we set three weeks (17 parliamentary days) so at any time they did not produce their numbers to take control of parliamentary businesses.”

Meanwhile, according to the Private Business Committee, the Opposition made three submissions on a motion of no confidence in Marape.

The committee found the first one submitted on 13 February to be defective due to a technical error as the alternative Prime Minister’s electorate was stated as East Sepik Regional electorate, instead of East Sepik Provincial electorate.

The second submission on 14 February was rejected after Milne Bay Governor Gordon Wesley, whose signature was on it, wrote to the Speaker’s Office denying signing the submission.

The committee rejected the third submission on 20 February because members suspected that the signatures were forged.

The National was told last night that the committee had therefore referred all the signatories on the submission made on 20 February to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to look into the alleged forgery of signatures.

The committee member said that a motion of no confidence was a serious business as it tried to change a Prime Minister elected by the people and parliament through a democratic process.

The committee under Section 145 and Standing Orders 130 is therefore required to look into the motion and ensure that all five technical requirements are complied with.