Not right to blame bungle on bad advice

Letters, Normal

The National – Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I feel the Justice Minister and Attorney-General’s statement in the media should not go unchallenged given the unconstitutional appointment of the governor-general by parliament.
It is a shame for a very well-learned senior statesman and former chief justice to come out and blame the unconstitutional process of reappointing the GG as based on poor advice.
If so the question begs, what happened to the leader’s personal reasoning given his lengthy experience with parliamentary procedures?
Was it thrown out the window so he could hide behind poor advice? 
Sir Arnold Amet’s grounds that the government’s blunder in bulldozing the unconstitutional reappointment as based on poor advice is very shallow and without substance.
Regardless of what he says to cover up this constitutional blunder, one fact remains and that is Sir Paulias Matane’s reputation and credibility has been tarnished and, believe me, all Papua New Guineans know that.
The government is now hell bent to amend its deliberate unconstitutional mistake on the floor of parliament by paying Sir Paulias visits and adamantly pushing for his re-nomination.
But let me remind Sir Arnold that this will not fix Sir Paulias’ reputation and credibility.
Furthermore, Sir Arnold cannot denounce or brush aside insinuations from the public.
You do not have to be rocket scientist to understand the constitution and the constitutional procedures in the reappointment a GG. 
The procedure is very clear, yet the government chose not to follow it and for Sir Arnold, who is very well versed with the laws of this land, including the constitution, did not even stand up to point out the flaw.
I applaud the Morobe governor and the provincial government for challenging the reappointment of the GG in court.
The government has seasoned leaders in the likes of the prime minister, the speaker and even Sir Paulias himself, who should have known better the constitutional procedures to appoint a GG and yet chose to blame  it on poor advice.
The prime minister, being in politics for over 40 years, should know by heart what the appointment procedures are.
Sir Paulias, to uphold his personal integrity and that of the vice-regal office, should have exercised some caution given his experience in public life when his reappointment was openly opposed by the public.
It seems the government, including Sir Paulias, and all parties deliberately ignored the constitutional process hoping that it would be swept under the carpet like the many cases of national interest.
As such, all of them are equally guilty of breaching the constitution.
Nobody can claim innocence of their actions on the floor of parliament during the reappointment of the GG earlier this year.


Koke Pailepo
Port Moresby