ESA’ALA MP Moses Maladina has challenged lawyer Peter Donigi to name a time and place of his choice for a public debate on amendments made in Parliament on the Ombudsman Commission.
Mr Maladina, however, advised Mr Donigi to go back for training on Constitutional Law before a public debate.
“I will meet him anywhere, anytime of his choosing. He is splitting hairs with words just to mislead people.” Mr Maladina said.
He said this yesterday after his reconciliation with Bulolo MP Sam Basil in public confrontation over amendments to the Constitution relating to the Ombudsman Commission.
The Esa’ala MP, in a personal explanation to Parliament on Tuesday, told Mr Basil not to mislead the people as debates and statements were recorded on Hansard.
“If for any reason the MP thinks that I have misled Parliament, the right course of action is for him to check Hansard –b ring it to the floor – pinpoint exactly where I misled Parliament,” Mr Maladina said.
“If he can’t show anything, then I advise that he shouldn’t go out and mislead the public by making these false statements.
“Otherwise, the public will think that we leaders have no integrity and that we are like yo-yos – we are not decisive.”
Mr Maladina made the personal explanation to Parliament after Bulolo MP accused the MP of misleading the Opposition that the Ombudsman Commission had been consulted and supported amendments.
“Mr Speaker, when the Member checks the Hansard, he will find that not on one occasion did I state that the Ombudsman Commission supported one of these Bills in its entirety.
“In fact, if anything, I was quite critical about how that office was being run. However, I did acknowledge recommendations made by the Ombudsman Commission during consultation concerning certain sections which were amended, to which they agreed.”
He said with other sections there were differences of views which obviously were a matter of give and take.
“But, with the ultimate view of making the Ombudsman Commission an effective organisation,” Mr Maladina said.
The two MPs later shook hands where Mr Basil apologised to Mr Maladina over the statement in the media.
Meanwhile, Mr Maladina’s plans to give notice for a Human Rights Bill was not taken as Parliament move to adjourned for eight weeks to May 4.
Earlier this week, Mr Donigi challenged Mr Maladina to a public debate on the constitutional amendments to curb the powers of the Ombudsman Commission.
He said the debate was to be coordinated by the University of Papua New Guinea vice-chancellor.
Mr Donigi said: “Mr Maladina must accept my challenge or withdraw all his proposed constitutional amendments from the floor of Parliament.
“By definition, a constitutional amendment implies that an error exists in the Constitution that needs to be corrected.
“I say there is no error in the Constitution that needs to be corrected.
“I say the Parliament has limited powers to only make laws that are consistent with the Constitution and the Parliament has power only to alter the Constitution and no power to amend it.”