The National, Monday October 14th, 2013
By CHARLES MOI
THE Opposition has requested the Supreme Court to determine if recent amendments to the Constitution passed in Parliament were in breach of the supreme law of the land.
Leader Belden Namah, flanked by Opposition MPs and lawyer Loani Henou, made the announcement yesterday in Port Moresby.
He said the application related to Parliament’s approval of amendments to sections 145 and 124 of the Constitution.
Henou said the application related to two major provisions of the Constitution – Section 145 which provided for a motion of no confidence to be entertained by Parliament and Section 124 which dealt with the number of days Parliament sat.
The application challenges Parliament’s amended 30-month grace period, the amended 40 parliament sitting days and the notice on a vote of no confidence from seven days to 30 days.
“Now with the 40 days, the Government can come in for two months, sit for 40 days and the rest of the year is just wasted,” Namah said.
The application also challenges the amendment in the number of signatures required to petition the Speaker to pass a vote of no confidence. It has increased from 11 to 37 MPs.
Namah said the powers that the government normally had was now shifted to the executive government.
“Parliament is now just a mere rubber stamp,” Namah said
Henou said: “The trend has been that the parliament or the government seemed to be chipping away very slowly the quality of a democratic process of running this country inch by inch.”