Domestic Politics. Papua New Guinea press review

Anti-corruption Non-Governmental International Organization Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has raised concerns over the lack of public consultation and justification prior to the enactment of Public Health Emergency Act 2020 that appears to excessively restrict citizens’ rights, within an indefinite time period, and with no Parliamentary oversight, which was accepted on the 17th of June 2020. “The Constitution of Papua New Guinea has strict measures on the use of Emergency Powers, for instance limiting any declared emergency to a maximum of two months, and only with the express authorization of our elected representatives in Parliament. Both of these measures are lacking in the new legislation, and this is a serious concern as it means there are fewer protections from the abuse of this power,” said Chairman of TIPNG, Peter Aitsi. [1]

Speaker of the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea Job Pomat has announced his resignation from the People’s National Congress Party (PNC) to maintain the neutrality of the office of the Speaker. However, PNC Party members in parliament are now in the opposition, while Mr. Pomat remains Speaker. Mr. Pomat says that his resignation, this was done in the best interest of PNG Parliament: «I have the conviction that who so holds the position (of speaker) must maintain neutrality and not be attached to any political party, » Mr. Pomat says. PNG National Parliament is expected to resume on the 25th of August 2020. [2]

The 9th, 10th and 11th COVID-19 cases were reported in Papua New Guinea. A ninth case was recorded in a 44-year-old member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Initially, Australian Officer was in quarantine at the Rita Flynn (Boroko, Port Moresby) as local authorities concentrated on contact tracing. However, the 10th and 11th COVID-19 cases were reported in PNG Defence Forces in Port Moresby. [3]

The Office of the Prime Minister reported on its Facebook page that the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Hon. James Marape’s public engagement for the next month will be scaled down due to the presence of a positive COVID-19 case in Port Moresby. The Office of the Prime Minister also informed the media. urgent statements will be prerecorded and send to media houses. Media is also advised to forward questions should you require responses to the PM’s Media Unit. Prime Minister is encouraging every citizen to take extra precaution and be COVID-19 conscious. [4] [1]
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