The National, Thursday 6th September, 2012
By STARZA PAUL
FRUSTRATED opposition leader Belden Namah blasted the government in parliament yesterday for adjourning its sitting to next month after only two days.
Namah said this was setting a bad precedent on the conduct of the parliament and blamed the government, especially Speaker Theo Zurenuoc, and Finance Minister and Leader of Government Business James Marape for adjourning parliament too early.
“We have not had any lengthy debates and speeches from the opposition and those in government in this ninth sitting because we are not given the time to have our say,” he said
Namah said he was preparing to give his statement today in reply to the opening address by Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill but he could not because the sitting had been adjourned.
“The speaker and the prime minister promised to be fair during their maiden speeches but it is not likely to be happen if we start of like this.”
He said the government was already starting on the wrong footing with many issues of importance that needed to be addressed immediately.
He described O’Neill’s statement on Tuesday as similar to those made by previous prime ministers.
Namah said he would produce a true statement during the next sitting.
“I will give the real statement and the plan of action of an alternative government to the people of this country,” he said.
Later, during a press conference, other opposition parliamentarians supported Namah’s call, blaming the government for trying to “gag” them from having fair and constructive debates in parliament.
Some first-timers said they had not been allowed time to have their say.