PNG women in parliament vote fails

Last updated 12:52 11/03/2009

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Papua New Guinea's push for three women representatives in parliament has failed after the opposition party voted against it.

PNG's parliament voted 60 for and 16 against – 13 votes short of the required 73 to pass the motion where three non-party affiliated women would be included in parliamentary sessions.

Prime Minister Michael Somare introduced the motion on Tuesday as he believed women in PNG need more political representation.

The only female parliament member, Community Services and Women's Minister Carol Kidu, told tearful women outside parliament house that despite the poor result the government will continue to push the motion, PNG's Post Courier newspaper reported.

Opposition Leader Mekere Morauta said they were against the vote because the affirmative action push had no legal grounding.

"In the absence of such a law, the process is subject to legal challenge not only by any of the 93 unsuccessful applicants but by any aggrieved citizen," he said.

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