The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
MEMBERS of Parliament failing to support their party resolutions will be automatically dismissed from their parties and will not have the privilege to join another party, if proposed changes to the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (IPPC) law takes effect.
However, they will remain as members of Parliament.
The IPPC Commission said this yesterday at the political parties’ development training workshop in Alotau, Milne Bay.
According to Registrar Dr Alphonse Gelu the decision was made at a consultation meeting between the IPPC Commission and the National Executive Council (NEC) regarding the revised Organic Law on political parties and candidates (OLIPPAC).
Under the revised law MPs who vote against their party resolutions will face expulsion from their party, will not join a new party but will assume independent member status in Parliament.
Their independent status will take effect only when they refund the money of K10,000 provided to them under the Organic Law as MPs and also repay the monies they used from their parties for election campaigns or other activities whilst with the party.
“This is because we do not want to alienate political parties from the scene but we want to encourage and strengthen (political) parties in their operations, functions and give them prominence.
“We want to keep parties operating and grow them.
“MPs are elected to Parliament because of the work of political parties,” Gelu said.
However, the NEC decided against that proposal and said MPs would only lose their party membership but retain their seats in Parliament as independents and repay the money.
Gelu said failure to comply would result in the MPs being referred to the Ombudsman Commission to be dealt with under the Leadership Code.