By MALUM NALU
New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan is disappointed with Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt and Kavieng MP Ian Ling-Stuckey for storming out of the inaugural provincial assembly session in Kavieng on Wednesday.
But Schnaubelt said they did this because standing orders were not followed by assembly chairman Sir Julius.
The incident puts further strain to the relationship between People’s Progress Party founder Sir Julius Chan and National Alliance’s Schnaubelt and Ling-Stuckey.
Schnauelt beat Sir Julius’ son Byron to win Namatanai in the recent general election while Ling-Stuckey unseated PPP leader Ben Micah in Kavieng.
Sir Julius said Schnaubelt and Ling-Stuckey had questioned the legitimacy of his appointment of members of the provincial assembly.
“They wanted to reappoint some of those LLG presidents who stood for the election,” he told The National.
“The Inter-Government Relations Minister has already made a decision that those who stood for the election, even though they may not resign, they are deemed to have resigned.
“I have said the same thing again and again and again. When leaders do not follow the law, then we can never expect soldiers to follow the law.
“We had a quorum and parliament (provincial assembly) continued, and we have achieved a lot.”
But Schnaubelt said there should not be “double standards”.
“The chairman (Sir Julius) claimed yesterday’s meeting was the third and not the first one after the general election,” Schnaubelt told The National.
“The swearing in of two open MPs (Schnaubelt and Ling-Stuckey) was supposed to have taken place in the assembly. However, this did not happen as he proceeded to swear in three appointed representatives and left out the election of the deputy-governor, which was all wrong, according to standing order procedures.
“He also appointed three maimai (traditional chiefs).
“He is doing this because nine out of 10 local level government presidents are on our side, and not his, so he needs to increase his numerical strength to have his way in the assembly.
“Not allowing three LLG presidents, who contested against him, to take their rightful seats in the provincial assembly was also illegal. We’re seeking an order (court) to nullify yesterday’s assembly session and reinstate the three presidents.”
By MALUM NALU