O’Neill challenges legality of Tuesday’s Parlt sitting
By BOURA GORUKILA
IALIBU-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill has requested the Supreme Court to determine the legality of the Parliament sitting on Tuesday, including the passing of the 2021 national budget.
O’Neill’s lawyers Greg Sheppard and Philip Tabuchi of Young and Williams filed an application yesterday raising “important constitutional questions of national importance” on:
- whether the 2021 national budget passed was consistent with the Constitution and the spirit of the Constitution;
- whether the meeting of Parliament convened on Tuesday, Nov 17 was consistent with the Constitution, the Organic Law, and the spirit of the Constitution;
- WHETHER the purported decision of Parliament on Tuesday to adjourn the House to April 21, 2021, was legal;
- WHETHER the purported decisions of the Speaker to overrule a motion passed on Friday, Nov 13 to adjourn Parliament to Dec 1, and to convene meeting on Tuesday, Nov 17, were consistent with, and in the spirit of the Constitution.
O’Neill, a former prime minister and leader of the People’s National Congress ousted from power by Prime Minister James Marape in May last year, asked the Supreme Court to declare that:
- THE Speaker’s decision to recall Parliament on Tuesday this week despite the approved motion last Friday to adjourn it to Dec 1, is unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective;
- THAT the meeting of Parliament on Tuesday Nov 17 was unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective;
- THAT the 2021 national budget purportedly passed on Tuesday was unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective, inconsistent with Section 209 of the Constitution;
- THAT the decision during Tuesday’s meeting to adjourn Parliament to April 21, 2021 is unconstitutional, ineffective and invalid;
- THAT the changes to the Member’s Prime Business Committee make on Nov 17 were unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective;
- THAT the meeting of Parliament on Friday Nov 13 and the decisions made thereat were valid and remain in force; and,
- THAT the court issues a mandatory injunction requiring the Speaker to convene a meeting of Parliament on Dec 1.
It could not be confirmed yesterday when the Supreme Court would make a ruling on the case.
O’Neill and Opposition MPs were absent from Parliament on Tuesday when 50 MPs on the Government side passed the 2021 budget.
Most were in their camp at Vanimo in West Sepik where they had left for last weekend to discuss their plan to move a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister James Marape on Dec 1.