By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME Minister James Marape says the Government will respond to the case filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday by Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill, challenging the legality of Tuesday’s Parliament sitting.
“We will end up in court and defend Parliament’s position (of the Speaker recalling Parliament on Tuesday after it was adjourned last Friday to Dec 1),” he said.
“Parliament and the Speaker are now in the process of (defending) their positions. This thing will go back and forth.
“But the Government is in place.”
A group of MPs on the Government side including 12 Cabinet Ministers joined the Opposition last Friday and moved that Parliament be adjourned to Dec 1.
But Speaker Job Pomat recalled Parliament on Tuesday where 52 MPs on the Government side passed the 2021 budget and adjourned Parliament to April next year.
It is now the subject of the court case filed by O’Neill on Wednesday.
Marape reminded those who have joined the Opposition that they could move a motion of no confidence against him when Parliament resumes in April next year.
“If they feel that they have no confidence in me and have the majority on their side, come to Parliament in April 2021 and move a motion of no confidence,” he said.
Marape said many MPs were caught by surprise on Friday when the group crossed the floor to the Opposition.
“This was done by one or two and everyone was caught in the heat of things. Before long they were in a bus going to the Crown and next day in a plane going to Vanimo.
“Right now, as I speak about 50 members remain static with me. I will not lie. Many were caught off guard.”
Marape explained that Parliament was adjourned to April next year was because they had important matters to attend to early in the year.
“I had every opportunity on Tuesday to adjourn to after July 28, 2021.
“We needed to prepare for schools in January.
“We have the important 2022 elections.
“We want to have February and March to ensure the census is run and common roll updated.”
By HELEN TARAWA