Numbers intact to beat a vote of no confidence
Caption: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill with PNC members after the caucus meeting on Wednesday night.
BY STANLEY NONDOL
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is confident he will remain in office and is not shaken by Opposition and other factions camping in Port Moresby to oust him in a vote of no confidence when Parliament meets next week Tuesday.
Mr O’Neill said his party members are intact with other coalition partners in government and has more than required number to run the country until 2022. And he is not worried about other PNC party members leaving the Government two weeks ago.
Members of the Opposition and government have gone into camps in the nation’s capital in the lead up to filing a notice of vote of no confidence next week.
We have received reports that there are four camps in Port Moresby. They are Peter O’Neill’s PNC Party group, Opposition with a solid 24 MPs, PNC breakaway factions led by James Marape and Davis Stevens and Peoples Party led by Sir Peter Ipatas.
Sources from the Opposition said the 24 members remain intact as final preparations are put in place for the filing of the notice of motion of no confidence vote this week Wednesday. The sources said they have the required number to file the motion.
Mr O’Neill, following his PNC party caucus last Wednesday evening, confirmed his party is intact with 38 MPs and is in solidarity with coalition parties.
There are more than 40 MPs from other coalition parties in the government and together with PNC 38 will be 70, exceeding the required 56 MPs to beat the no confidence vote.
It is not confirmed at this time how many members Marape and Ipatas groups have as some MPs are reportedly switching camps. But sources from both sides claimed to have the required numbers to form the government if a vote of no confidence is to go ahead. The required number to form the government is 56. It is also not known at this stage which side the Marape and Ipatas camps will be teaming up with.
The Opposition is expected to file a notice this Wednesday to the speaker’s office. The basic requirements to move a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister are;
1) A Member of Parliament who wishes to table or move a motion of no confidence must give Parliament seven days written notice by filing a notice that her she intends to move a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister.
2) The notice must state the reasons why the incumbent should be voted out as Prime Minister.
(3) The notice must be signed by the member moving or proposing it, as well as the member who shall second the motion (support it).
(4) It must name the alternative Prime Minister to replace the incumbent.
(5) It must also be further supported (signed) by no less than 12 Members of Parliament;
6) It must be submitted in accordance with Parliament Standing Orders, which state it must be submitted to the Speaker who shall table it before the Private Business Parliament Committee.
The committee is made up of five Members of Parliament, chaired by Speaker. The committee comprises of five MPs including the Speaker as chairman.
The sole responsibility of the committee is to confirm the notice of motion has met all the above requirements.
If the notice is in order, the Speaker shall direct the Parliament Clerk to list the notice of motion no confidence on the notice paper (Parliament Notice of Agenda).
According the Parliament Standing Orders (procedures of how parliament meetings shall be conducted) notice of motion of vote of no confidence shall be tabled on any Thursday when Parliament is sitting and given priority over all other business.
The Constitution (section 145) states Parliament may not move a vote of confidence against the Prime Minister for first 18 months following his election and the last 12 months of five-year term of Parliament.