By MALUM NALU
THE People’s National Congress (PNC) is likely to be invited by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae to form the government as it has won the most number of seats so far – 25 as at 6pm yesterday.
But, according to Registrar of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu, pictured, the party led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill needs to form a team of at least 56 MPs to do so.
Gelu told The National yesterday that the normal practice was for the head of state to invite the party with the most number of seats to form the government.
This means that PNC, even if it is invited to form the government, may not get to do so if it does not have the 56 of the 111 seats.
“This is a process that will involve the Electoral Commissioner (Patilias Gamato), who will go and see the governor-general,” Gelu said.
“Together, they will give the invitation to that particular political party.
“That particular political party will come and receive that invitation. One of the things about
our system of government is that it is not different from other democracies.
“The prime minister is not elected anywhere else but on the floor of Parliament.
“The invitation will be given to the party that has won the majority of seats, as per the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.
“The invitation will go to that party, but then that party has to go to the floor of Parliament, to elect its nominee to be the prime minister.”
Gelu pointed out, however, that the law requires that the party invited to form the government “must have a simple majority on the floor”.
“A simple majority, meaning it must have more numbers on its side, for its nominee to be elected as prime minister,” he said.
“In the event that the party that was invited to form government does not hold the simple majority, then the Speaker will invite other groups in parliament.
“And when those other groups put up their nominee, and they gain a simple majority, then they will form government.
“The law is very clear on this.”
By MALUM NALU