Namah: Asylum seeker deal illegal

National, Normal

The National, Friday July 26th, 2013


OPPOSITION Leader Belden Namah claims the new asylum seekers agreement between Australian and Papua New Guinea is unconstitutional.

Namah said the Constitution must first be amended to enable the detention of foreigners on behalf of a third country such as Australia for the purposes of determining their refugee status.

He said only when Section 42 is amended can the prime minister sign agreements to host, process and resettle refugees. 

“I just can’t get my head around how one can avoid the operation of Section 42,” Namah said yesterday.

“The fact remains that the asylum seekers have been and are headed for Australia to seek asylum in that country. 

“It is their country of choice and wish. They do anything and everything under the sun to get Australia in the hope of living there.

“To force them into Papua New Guinea against their will and to have them detained in a confined location or in Papua New Guinea, to me, remains unconstitutional. 

“I have nothing against the Australian government. As a matter of fact, regional co-operation and support for each other is what I believe in. I am saying that we must do these things within the confines of law.”