EOIN BLACKWELL | AAP | Extract
PAPUA NEW GUINEA PRIME MINISTER Peter O'Neill has asked the nation's Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC) to consider scrapping the Westminster system of government in favour of federalism.
Under the proposal, first raised by former prime minister Sir Julius Chan in parliament last week, the prime minister would be directly elected by the people, Mr O'Neill said.
Sir Julius, one of PNG's founding fathers, has been campaigning strongly for a federal system and argued it was fair and representative for PNG and it's more than 850 cultures.
Mr O'Neill said on Tuesday the change will consolidate political stability.
"I fully share (Sir Julius') views because if we are to progress as a nation, we must continue to find ways to improve and consolidate what we have," Mr O'Neill said in a statement on Tuesday night.
"We must never be afraid of change that will bring stability and prosperity for the future."
Mr O'Neill urged the CLRC to undertake a year-long nationwide consultation and report their findings to Parliament.
The Chief Secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc has been asked to liaise with the CLRC to work out the Terms of Reference for the consultation.