Papua New Guinea’s Parliament adjourned; and vote of no confidence avoided


With increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister James Marape says it’s ‘no time to play politics’ and has adjourned Parliament until 10 August.

Credit: Office and the Prime Minister and NEC via Facebook

Prime Minister James Marape announced on Wednesday that Parliament would be adjourned until 10 August due to the recent COVID-19 spike in PNG – last week 42 parliament staff and one MP had tested positive for COVID-19 from 167 tested.

The move means Marape has avoided a vote of no confidence that would have challenged his leadership, which started in March 2019 after a vote of no confidence ousted former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The four-month adjournment announcement came after the Opposition declared O’Neill as its alternative candidate for Prime Minister.

The selection of O’Neill was prompted by the decision of the Opposition’s initial nominee, Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Trade  Patrick Pruaitch, to move back to the government benches.


When Parliament sits again in August, it will be too late to remove Marape from the prime ministership. PNG’s next National Elections are scheduled for July 2022 and convention dictates that a Prime Minister can’t be removed via a vote of no confidence within 12 months of a scheduled election.

Responding to the government’s move, O’Neill said that the move to adjourn Parliament was ‘in breach of minimum sitting days … so we will see them in court.’

In principle, Parliament must sit for 63 days each year, as per Supreme Court ruling No.3 of 1993.

Deja vú

This is not the first time Marape has adjourned Parliament in the face of dissent.

In November last year, after Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil and other coalition party MPs crossed the floor to join the Opposition, he adjourned Parliament until this month.

New laws

While Parliament’s activities have been severely curtailed due to the adjournment, some business was still possible last week.

Marape said in a press conference that, before the adjournment, some important items were concluded, including the passage of the National Energy Act 2020 and the Electricity Amendment Act.

PNG’s National Energy Policy, 2017-2027 proposes the NEA will ‘regulate and promote the development, dissemination of information regulation and licensing relating to all forms of energy’, taking over some of the roles previously performed by the Department of Petroleum and Energy and the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission. It is also expected to manage the auctions for future power production agreements.


  1. All mps ,are you all satisfied with pm JMs way of mananing this country,,you all are leaders representing your people in your elaborates and png as well,,
    God is watching at you,,,
    Remember,in biblical history,king Nebukandezer was always refusing God message to him through the prophets and one fine day God punished him by giving animal mine,,
    So he left his palace without single notice to his guards, family members or so,,he just went into the bush eating grasses with rest of the animals,,so my dear leaders,
    Please its time for you to standups and make wise decision,,,
    Remember,,when you support in wrong doings then you are authomaticaly in that boot,,
    Don’t play such game bcos God is watching you and you will get yours,,,
    God bless

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