PNG Opposition leader Polye calls for ‘democratic’ no-confidence vote


Opposition Leader Don Polye speaking in an EMTV Newscast last night. Video: EMTV

Papua New Guinea’s Opposition Leader Don Polye today called a press conference and declared that he expected the facilitation of a democratic process of vote of no-confidence tomorrow, EMTV News reports.

Polye said he was prepared to negotiate with coalition partners in order to see the motion moved successfully.

ABC News reports aviation, maritime and public transport workers in Papua New Guinea went on strike before the no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who has refused to resign over corruption allegations.

This follows the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea ordering Parliament to reconvene on the July 15 to hear the motion.

A growing protest movement, led by students and civil society groups, has risen response to economic decline and ongoing allegations of corruption against O’Neill.

The corruption charges largely stem from a 2014 incident involving the sacking of Papua New Guinea’s police chief of operations and a number of deputy police commissioners after a warrant was issued for the prime minister’s arrest over an alleged expropriation of NZ$31 million dollars of public funds, reports Māori Television.

The strikes have effectively cut off Papua New Guinea after a groundswell of political unrest in recent weeks in the rugged, mountainous country, which relies heavily on air travel, reports ABC News.

Fears sparked
Tomorrow’s scheduled no-confidence vote against O’Neill has sparked fears of more unrest.

Last month, weeks of peaceful protests by university students ended in violent clashes with police in which officials said nearly 40 people were injured, including four with bullet wounds.

Although the strike in the three main urban centers of Port Moresby, Lae and Mount Hagen involves more than one industry, it is the aviation strike that is having the greatest impact, said Martyn Namorong, head of the PNG Resource Governance Coalition.

Stranded passengers are complaining about the delay or cancellation of Air Niugini flights, reports Loop PNG.

However, in a statement released early today, the airline says most of its scheduled domestic and international flights operated today.

The Opposition says it will cut costs if vote of no confidence is successful.

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