Acting PM settles Temu’s fears over election crisis

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ABAU MP Sir Puka Temu has expressed fears next year’s general election will be unconstitutional if major legislations are not passed in this term of parliament.
However, acting Prime Minister Sam Abal assured parliament that everything was under control and government had a schedule to ensure the bills went through the required process.
Sir Puka, in his questions yesterday, said the Electoral Boundaries Commission’s statement to parliament by Minister Francis Potape was confusing to both MPs and the public.
“I think the EBC has come too late with some major legislation and enabling legislations and constitutional laws to go before parliament,” he said.
“Can the acting prime minister tell parliament and the nation about the government legislature programme for the 2012 election to be deemed constitutional?” he asked.
“What is the government’s plan, or are we strategising chaotically?
“Can you tell parliament and the country that the elections will be according to law?”
Sir Puka said those who lost the elections might ask the courts to declare that the elections were unconstitutional.
He said there were a number of amendments including the women’s bill, Hela and Jiwaka and the retaining of provincial seats that were crucial for a legally conducted election.
In response, Abal said the EBC report was timely and would cover Hela and Jiwaka for a report to parliament.
He said the executive government had an agenda and schedule to run the bills through this year and there was no need to ring alarm bells.