Court refuses Marat’s application to intervene in PM’s case


THE Supreme Court has refused an application by deputy opposition leader Dr Allan Marat to intervene in a Supreme Court reference questioning the legality of James Marape’s election as prime minister.
Justice Derek Hartshorn, sitting as a single Supreme Court judge, rejected Marat’s application because the reasons he submitted did not satisfy the court that he had interest in the matter.
Marat on Nov 4 applied to be included because he had nominated Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta as a third candidate for the prime minister’s post in parliament on May 30.
It was former prime minister Peter O’Neill had stepped down and there was a vacancy in the position.
The other two candidates were O’Neill and Marape.
Speaker Job Pomat agreed to withdraw O’Neill’s name after nominations had closed.
Justice Hartshorn said Marat’s interests could not be categorised as “unusual” to him. “He nominated a member of parliament for the position of the prime minister at the subject time, (but) does not confer upon him a substantial interest and real interest in a right in a right or liability recognised in law, peculiar to him, which is directly or likely to be directly affected by the issue of this reference,” Justice Hartshorn said.