By CHARLES MOI
OPPOSITION Leader Don Polye has filed an application in the Supreme Court for an order to have Parliament recalled to debate a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Polye’s lawyer Loani Henao appeared before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia in Waigani and advised the court that the case was urgent.
Henao explained in court that the motion of no confidence and Polye’s case would be futile by July 27 because Section 145 of the Constitution would come into effect then. The section states in part that “a motion of no confidence in the prime minister or the ministry moved within 12 months before the fifth anniversary of the date fixed for the return of the writs at the previous general election shall not be allowed if it nominates the next prime minister”.
Henao said Parliament had been adjourned to Aug 2.
He said the motion was submitted to Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Private Business on June 7, and named Polye as the alternate prime minister.
He asked the court to hear the matter expeditiously and dispense with certain requirements under the Supreme Court rules.
Sir Salamo agreed with Henao that the matter should be given an expeditious hearing due to the facts of the case.
Sir Salamo told Henao that he would assemble a full bench to hear the issue of whether Polye had standing to bring the matter to court.
He explained that the court would hear the substantive matter if the court found that Polye had standing.
He said if parties were ready to proceed with the relevant issues then he would assemble a bench within two weeks.
Sir Salamo said the interested persons in the case should be the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Private Business and the Clerk of Parliament.
The Court then directed Henao to file affidavits before the matter returns on Monday for directions.
By CHARLES MOI