Chaotic scenes in PNG Parliament

By Samisoni Pareti

The parliament of Papua New Guinea was in uproar today after the Speaker refused to entertain a motion against him.

The motion was moved by the new leader of opposition, Patrick Pruaitch who is widely tipped to replace Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister. From the opposition’s so called Laguna Camp, Pruaitch told the speaker that he wanted the standing orders of parliament to be suspended in order for the opposition to move their motion against him.

Speaker Job Pomat refused to allow the motion, and the house erupted into shouting matches as opposition MPs attempted to shout down the speaker and told him to entertain the motion. Two MPs almost exchanged blows as they exchanged harsh words.

Besieged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also spoke during the melee, challenging the opposition to table their motion of no confidence against his government.

He said the Speaker of the House would go down with his government in the event the opposition confidence motion succeeds.

When members of the opposition persisted with their calls for their motion to be heard, and shouting matches erupted on the floor of parliament, Speaker Pomat declared that he was suspending parliament to 10am tomorrow.

EMTV is reporting however that there could be a possibility of parliament reconvening later today, as the Speaker is now seeking legal advise.