Pasifik.News – The Papua New Guinea Opposition says it is still determined to remove Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister before the next election, despite failing in its motion of no-confidence.
Parliament last week voted overwhelmingly to keep Mr O’Neill in the job, 85 to 21.
But Opposition spokesman Wanpis Ako says people are demanding change. “We will push for another vote of no-confidence without naming an alternative Prime Minister when parliament resumes on August 9,” he told Pasifik News.
That would be inside the one-year grace period protecting the Government from no-confidence motions, but the Opposition believes it can still push for a caretaker leader.
It also intends to take legal action against the Speaker and Parliamentary Clerk for not allowing more MPs to debate last week’s motion.
But the Prime Minister says it’s time to get on with business.
“Despite the political events of the past two weeks, and recent disquiet in some sections of the community, matters have all culminated with the vote in the Parliament and this has been resolved decisively,” Mr O’Neill said.
It may not be that simple. Apart from the Opposition, some community groups are still pushing for him to step down and face questioning over allegations of corruption.
On his Facebook wall, the Secretary of the National Doctors’ Association Sam Yockopua insisted their action is not in breach of PNG law. “It is instead civil disobedience exercised as concerned professional citizens, which is allowed for, acting to display their conscience using their democratic and constitutional rights,” he wrote.
Mr O’Neill will soon unveil a new ministerial line-up made necessary by the defection of some MPs.
“The new lineup will place our Government in an even stronger position to communicate with relevant parties and resolve outstanding issues,” he said.