The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Parliament resumed yesterday for another three weeks of feisty debates on issues of national importance (we hope).
Parliament was to sit for a marathon six weeks session but the deputy speaker decided our MPs needed a recess.
Is it any wonder if the people were to feel our MPs are over-pampered and spoilt at our expense?
While not pre-empting anything here, the government must now critically address in this particular session of parliament the all-important issue of PNG leadership.
The prime minister has been out of his office first on suspension and then on medical leave – for more than two months.
This is a serious matter and the country cannot be denied a fit and competent leader for obvious reasons.
PNG must have a competent leadership that will give confidence to its people and all democratic institutions.
I foresee Opposition leader Belden Namah and his deputy Sam Basil bringing this matter up in Parliament.
They are expected to call on Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to evoke the provision of section 142, sub-section 5(c) of the Constitution.
The government must appoint a competent medical panel to assess our prime minister’s true medical condition and determine whether he is 100% fit in all respects to be able to carry out the duties of his high office.
I hope the speaker will not try to pull some silly stunt as he risks incurring the wrath of the Opposition and may even face a vote of no-confidence.
With the prevailing poor health condition of our prime minister, it is unlikely he will resume duty any time soon.
Hence, if the medical situation does warrant it and supported by a special medical panel’s recommendations, then the process of electing a new prime minister can then be taken by Parliament without delay.
With due respect to the government, it is now time for it to make a bold decision to have a competent, fit and honest government to rule PNG from this point onwards.
I hope and pray that Abal and Namah start talking about bringing back stability and credibility into the government.
The people can then look towards next year’s elections with confidence and hope for a better future.
Finally, I join my fellow Papua New Guineans and pray that the Grand Chief makes a speedy recovery and returns safely to PNG with his family.