Tuesday, 10 March 2009 4:52 AM

PNG MP Refuses Nomination of Women into Parliament

A Papua New Guinea MP has refused to support a bill that would allow women into the country's parliament and called on other Members of Parliament to reject the bill.

According to PNG's The National, the Member of Parliament for Finschhafen, Theo Zurenuoc, 'made his position known during grievance debate in Parliament last Friday after Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare appealed to MPs to reassess themselves and Dame Carol Kidu acknowledging MPs who were "uncomfortable" with the bill'.

"Mi yet ino wanbel wantaim dispela wei ol meri bai kam insait long Palamen (I am not comfortable with this process for women to enter Parliament)," Mr Zurenuoc said.
"I call on Members of Parliament to reject this bill and send it back to the drawing board," he added.

According to the report, Mr. Zurenouc said reserved seats should be created for women to vote in their representatives and that 'a lot of MP had sacrificed a lot before, during and after the elections to be in Parliament, and to just appoint women to the House raised a lot of questions'.

He also wanted to know whether these women representatives would get to "enjoy the privileges that we elected MPs enjoy"?
"I encourage other MPs to vote against it."

Sir Michael had earlier urged all MPs to seriously consider the bill to change provisions in the Constitution to enable nominated women in Parliament.
"We need to support this provision; it is already provided and all Parliament has to do is enact the Organic Law to govern this provision," Sir Michael said.
"It is about time we consider the role of women in this Parliament."

Dame Carol said past attempts to get women into Parliament had failed and now, even with the Government behind it, there was still a lot of confusion and questions.
She appealed to all MPs uncomfortable with the bill that Parliament had to act on this provision, whether to remove it or find other ways to have women representation in Parliament.