Court erred: Parkop

The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop says the Supreme Court has breached the doctrine of separation of powers in its decision to order Parliament to be recalled.
He said the Opposition’s no-confidence motion was not on Parliament’s agenda during the last sitting, which was adjourned on June 8.
He said the high court had “gone beyond its bounds” by ordering Parliament to be recalled to deliberate on a matter that was not on the agenda.
“While welcoming the decision of the Supreme Court, I am concerned as to the extent and implications the decision of the court may have on future governments,” he said in a statement last night.
“As far as I am aware of the law, the decision of the court is actually breaching on the doctrine of separation of powers, which is the foundation of our democracy.
“When parliament last met, the vote of no-confidence motion was not a formal agenda of Parliament.
“If it was submitted, it was still the property of the permanent parliamentary committee of Private Members Bill. It was not on the parliament notice paper.
“When parliament was adjourned in the last sitting, we adjourned knowing that the notice for the motion of vote of no confidence was not a business of parliament, yet as it was not on the notice paper.
“For the Supreme Court to order Parliament to be recalled and meet on a matter still before a parliamentary committee, who have not deliberated on its merits or demerits, and have not made any report to Parliament, clearly shows that the court has gone beyond its bounds.
“I hope and appeal to both the Opposition leader and the speaker not to allow this decision to stand as precedence, as it will serve as a basis for continuous interference by the court in the legislature in future.
“It is therefore important, for the sake of future parliaments, that this decision by the Supreme Court is challenged, perhaps at a later date, after parliament has dealt with the business of the motion of vote of no confidence.”
Parkop said, however, the court’s decision would enable Parliament “to settle this matter once and for all”.
“This is an opportunity for the prime minister to show if he still has the support of Parliament and the support of the people of our nation.
“It is also an opportunity for the Opposition to show if they have the numbers to carry out the vote of no confidence to change the Government.
“From here, the public will be able to assess for themselves if the decision to file the motion is genuine and not just a tactical ploy by the Opposition to create instability to the country.”
Parkop said his Social Democratic Party (SDP) helped form the current Government and was committed to remaining in Government.
“As far as we are concerned, as members of the coalition government, there are no reasons to change the Government.”