PNG heading towards ‘a police state’

National, Normal


THE Opposition has expressed concern that State agencies are being compromised and that the arms of Government are being ruled by the executive arm.
It raised concerns that Papua New Guinea was heading towards becoming a “police state”.
Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta raised the concerns yesterday, saying the Opposition was still waiting for the Ombudsman Commission to deliberate on whether the adjournment of Parliament on July 29 was illegal or not.
“The position of the Opposition is that the abrupt adjournment of Parliament was a deliberate violation of the Constitution by the Prime Minister, the leader of Government Business and the Speaker,” Sir Mekere said.
“We do not understand why there has been no action by the responsible authorities.
“Why has it taken the Ombudsman Commission so long in making its decision?” he asked.
He said the common trend of delays was making the watchdog look as if it was a “warehouse for storing referred cases”.
New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan also urged the Ombudsman Commission to be reviewed because its inaction or delay in processing referrals was starting to generate “suspicion”.
Sir Julius added that the Opposition “will not attend a Parliament that has been illegally adjourned and is now being illegally recalled”.
He also called for constitutional changes to be made to equip the Governor-General with reserve powers to independently approve or disapprove requests from the National Executive Council.
“They (the Government) want to rectify the recall by ill advising the Governor-General on emergency matters,” he said.
“It is time for the people to take a tough stand if we are not careful it will corrupt our system of government,” Sir Julius said.
Lae MP Bart Philemon said: “There is a growing concern that the three arms of the Government will have no power as the executive Government is dictating to the Parliament.”
Anglimp-South Waghi MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham said PNG was “now heading towards a guided democracy and we have to fight to save our democracy”.