The National,Thursday 22nd December 2011
I AM deeply appreciative and amazed with the people’s calm and resolve to maintain the rule of law and the spirit of our Constitution which entails freedom and justice for all.
However, I would like to state that the O’Neill-Namah faction has erred greatly with regard to our existing laws and constitution upon which the democratic machinery operates.
Firstly, the Supreme Court decided upon the legitimacy of the Somare government on Dec 12 and Sir Michael Somare should have been “allowed to exercise that duty”.
Secondly, even if both factions were to acknowledge that the ousting of Sir Michael on Aug 2 was legal, the 18-month grace period for a vote of no-confidence against a prime minister had already lapsed in January this year.
Hence, it is undisputable that Sir Michael is the “legal” and “constitutional” prime minister and it does not matter whether parliament is supreme or whether it has the numbers.
Thirdly, the majority of MPs responded in contempt to the highest court and conducted “illegal” sittings to formulate and pass laws.
The laws passed, including the Prime Minister and NEC Act (section 143), were “illegal” because due parliamentary process of (1) notice and disclosure, (2) reading, (3) debate and (4) vote were not “fully” and “truly” recognised and adhered to in accordance to a sufficient period of time for proper digestion by the public and law-makers.
These laws were developed for 70 MPs only, not seven million Papua New Guineans.
Where was the “debate” and “notice” as defined by law?
The laws passed were against the spirit of our Constitution upon which our democracy stands and the freedom which we all enjoy.
We have allowed a few so-called leaders to bulldoze through legal enactment without following proper parliamentary processes that reflect the interests of Papua New Guineans.
This is a very dangerous precedent which will be revisited later and those involved should be charged with contempt and abuse of the Constitution and the by-laws governing PNG.
By allowing our parliamentary processes and Constitution to be abused, we have in effect allowed authoritarian rule to squeeze itself into our democracy so that a greedy few can in effect take control of the country’s coffer.
It is ridiculous to talk about “people’s government” as each MP is compromised with self-interests and greed.
At the end of the day, the laws and Constitution must prevail or we will regret this day and hour.