Invitation to form govt ‘illegal’

National

By DEMAS TIEN
THE invitation from Governor-General Bob Dadae to the People’s National Congress (PNC) to form the government is unconstitutional,  Constitutional and Law Reform Commission Secretary Dr Eric Kwa says.
Kwa said this was for two reasons — Form 26 was not issued by the registrar of political parties to the electoral commissioner, which meant that the advice to the governor-general was invalid, and that the extension of the date for the return of writs from Friday to yesterday by the Supreme Court made the invitation unconstitutional.  “Form 26 is usually issued by my office, confirming the political party with the largest number of elected MPs and the total number of elected MPs for the parties,” Kwa told The National yesterday.
He said the electoral commissioner would consult the registrar before advising the governor-general to invite the political party with the largest number of elected candidates to form government.
“This consultation process between the commissioner and the registrar is done immediately before the presentation of the writs to the governor-general,” he said.
He said because of the Supreme Court order on Friday, which extended the date of the return of writs to yesterday, the events that occurred on Friday were void.
Kwa said the electoral commissioner should  now consult the registrar of political parties and after consultation, the electoral commissioner should advise the governor-general accordingly.
“If this does not happen, then the clerk of parliament and the new speaker of parliament cannot recognise the letter of invitation issued on July 28 to the PNC.
“This means that the first opportunity given to PNC is lost and the floor will then be open to any political party to nominate a prime minister.”
Kwa also said the decision to invite the parties with highest number of elected leaders must be based on the total number of writs, which was 111, and not 80.
He said it was imperative that all writs were returned so that the 111 MPs were eligible to attend parliament and participate in its proceedings.

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