THE Supreme Court has declared certain provisions of the integrity law on political parties and candidates as unconstitutional.
They include the restrictions imposed on elected MPs to exercise their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and movements.
The logical inference and underlying principles of this interpretation is that MPs are at freewill to make any decisions, whether on the floor or outside of parliament.
This goes to show the supremacy of the constitution.
The United Resource Party (URP) came under the spotlight recently following the defection of five MPs from the opposition.
URP is a coalition partner in the government of Sir Michael Somare.
However, to our distaste, party leader William Duma has publicly declared the defections as illegal and will not accept the five for not following procedures which the Supreme Court has nullified as unconstitutional.
He went on to sack party executives Jonny Philips and Robert Kamia for alleged miscarriage in accepting the five MPs to the party.
The events are unfortunate and as a strong URP supporter, I see this as a power play which does no good to the image of the party.
The five MPs’ defections are in order by law and by convention of the Westminster system of government.
The constitutional interpretation clearly states elected MPs have all the freewill to exercise their freedom of speech, associations and movements and the five MPs did just that.
The so-called integrity law that Duma continues to use is unfounded and a cover-up. The rejection of the five MPs is illegal and goes against the principles of the Supreme Court interpretation and decision.
The five MPs are learned leaders of credible standing and integrity to which the URP should be grand-standing and chest-beating.
They bring to the party power, authority and influence that it should be proud of.
Duma’s rejection is unacceptable and we ask him to apologise to the party membership and supporters.
The five MPs and others joining at freewill must be accepted unconditionally.
If there are any administrative wrongs, then right those wrong and accept the five MPs as URP members.