Mekere’s stand to be determined

The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

THE Supreme Court will determine whether Sir Mekere Morauta has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Government’s decision to expropriate from the PNGSDP’s 63.4 percent shareholding in Ok Tedi Mining Limited.
Sir Mekere is the PNGSDP (PNG Sustainable Development Programme) board chairman.
Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, Justice Don Sawong and Justice Joseph Yagi said they would consider the issue of standing after the parties completed their submissions in Waigani last Friday.
Should the court declare that Sir Mekere has standing, a full trial of the substantive issues will follow.
Lawyer Greg Egan, representing Sir Mekere, said his client had standing to bring the matter because he was a citizen who raised important constitutional issues.
Egan said Sir Mekere was not meddling in other peoples’ affairs and should be granted standing.
Lawyer Alfred Manase, representing the Attorney-General Ano Pala and the State, asked the court to refuse standing to Sir Mekere.
Manase said Sir Mekere was seeking to protect the interest of a foreign entity.
He said the constitutional infringement was not stated in Sir Mekere’s case.
Lawyer Emmanuel Asigau, representing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the National Executive Council, supported Manase’s submissions.
Asigau said a foreign entity like PNGSDP was using Sir Mekere to bring its issue to the Supreme Court.