Lawyer advises govt to tread carefully

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013

 A SENIOR lawyer has urged all parliamentarians to think very carefully before voting on proposed changes to the Constitution.

The proposed changes by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill are on sections 124 and 145 of the Constitution. 

“Let us not be fooled and blinded by the rethorics from the prime minister and other members of parliament that the changes will bring about stability and good governance in Papua New Guinea,” Moses Murray, a private practitioner, said.

“They do not have the mandate from their voters to touch the Constitution as they please.”

Murray, who was a candidate for the East Sepik regional seat in last year’s national elections, said the suggestion by O’Neill during a parliament debate that Parliament was supreme to the Constitution was “very dangerous”.

“We are no doubt heading to a stage where democracy would be guided by the wishes of the few who claim to have mandate from their voters to do so. 

“If democracy is guided, then we have a dictatorial government,” he said.

Murray said the Constitution was “like the Bible with a set of laws to govern the way we live and act”. 

“The Christian Bible, that was written some 2,000  years ago, has not been amended except for theologians making intelligent and god spirit filled interpretations on the true intent and meaning of Bible verses as it applies to our lives.

“The initial drafting of our Constitution witnessed almost three years of painstaking work by some of our intelligent lawyers at the time.

“And it was by and through the spirit and wisdom of God that such a  beautiful and meaningful  constitution  was  put  together and  accepted at  the eve of Independence.  

“We now have arrived at the situation where selfish thinking has led to the views that the Constitution must be amended  for reasons of stability and what  have you,” Murray said. 

“The proposed changes are nothing more than changes designed to cling to power and further one’s personal economic interest.”