Basil urges EC to await declaration before return of writs

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 1st, 2012

BULOLO MP Sam Basil is calling for an immediate stop to the announcement of the return of writs until all the MPs are declared.
Basil hopes that the 111 MPs will be present in parliament for the election of the speaker and the prime minister.
“All 111 members of parliament must be declared before the writs are returned to signal the end of the 2012 national elections,” Basil said.
He claimed yesterday that Peter O’Neill had already pushed for the first session of parliament on Friday and gazetted it.
He quoted the government document as National Gazette No G275/2012 dated July 26, 2012. Only about 50% of the 111 writs have been returned.
“Counting is still going on in more than 10 electorates. So there is no logic in bringing the previous extended date of return of writs to today (Aug 1),” he said.
“There should be no parliament session to elect a speaker or prime minister until all 111 members are declared.
 “I am calling on Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen to stand firm and refuse any pressure in returning the writs of the 2012 national election prematurely.
“I am also calling on Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio to refuse to accept the return of writs while counting is progressing at some electorates.
“The election of a speaker for the highest democratic institution of Papua New Guinea, the national parliament, must be with all of the 111 elected representatives of the people present.
“It must not be forced hastily by a handful of manipulative members who want power at any cost – through the subsequent election of the prime minister.
“What’s the hurry by Trawen, Sir Michael Ogio and O’Neill? The people are tired of manipulations of democratic institutions.
“The more elected representatives are left out, the less democratic the government is.
“A government formed without any representative of the people casting their vote is not a true government of the people.”
Basil said if Trawen caved in under pressure from the O’Neill camp, and allowed Sir Michael to accept the premature return of writs, then the omen for the new parliament would be no different or “possibly even worse” than previous parliaments and governments.