By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE legality of the election of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on August 2, 2017, will be tested when the Supreme Court interprets two questions sought by the Opposition.
The two questions relate to whether Section 63 of the Organic Law and the election of the prime minister were constitutional.
Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch and shadow attorney-general Kerenga Kua filed the Supreme Court references yesterday at the Waigani Supreme Court seeking interpretation of Section 63 of the organic law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.
The Opposition claimed that the section was unconstitutional and wanted the court to interpret if it was constitutional to allow the governor-general to invite the leading party from the government to elect a prime minister.
Pruaitch and Kua also want the Supreme Court to interpret if the election of O’Neill was legal and constitutional as he was elected at the first sitting of Parliament after the election and not on the second sitting day as required by the Constitution.
Pruatich and Kua claimed that the law or any provision made by the organic law or any Act of Parliament should be authorised by the Constitution, meaning that Section 63 of the organic Law was unconstitutional as it was not authorised by the Constitution and therefore the election of O’Neill was unconstitutional and invalid.
However, O’Neill said the election of the prime minister followed traditions and processes that had been established since independence and the Supreme Court interpretation sought was desperate bid for power by the Opposition.
He said the National Alliance Party, when given power between 2002 and 2011, practised the same process and his election was not a new practice.
“This is just another desperation for power by the Opposition. They are only looking for options, just another ridiculous waste of court’s time,” O’Neill said.
By JEFFREY ELAPA