By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
THE Opposition has named Aitape-Lumi MP and National Alliance Party leader Patrick Pruaitch as the alternative prime minister.
It is a requirement under the Standing Orders for a motion of no confidence is to be moved against Prime Minister James Marape.
Pruaitch said if the motion was successful and he became the new head of government, it would be a Christmas gift to PNG.
“We have been (camping) for four solid weeks. Among this group we have three former prime ministers Sir Julian Chan (New Ireland Governor), Paias Wingti (Western Highlands Governor), and Peter O’Neill (Ialibu-Pangia MP),” he said.
“We have former deputy prime ministers, several former ministers who are already part of a team that will restore confidence that has eroded in the past 18 months.
“I and my fellow ministers in the Marape government had no confidence in him and walked out four weeks ago to join the Opposition. I’m so grateful on behalf of the party that I was chosen.”
He said there were only 18 months left before the 2022 national election but it was enough time to fix the deteriorating state of the economy.
“We have a wealth of experience. We have lawyers , economists among us.”
Opposition Leader Belden Namah thanked all the 55 Opposition MPs.
“We want to announce that our nominee as the alternative prime minister is Hon Patrick Pruaitch, the leader of NA Party. The caucus has decided that he is our nominee.”
House awaits ruling on MP Palma
By HELEN TARAWA
THE order of business in Parliament tomorrow will depend on a clarification by the courts on the status of Kerowagi MP Bari Palma, says clerk to Parliament Kala Aufa.
He told The National that the issue needed to be sorted out first to determine if Palma should remain as an MP after he was declared insolvent in June 2017. This however has been annulled by a recent court order.
Speaker Job Pomat had to adjourn Parliament after it sat yesterday morning in compliance with a Supreme Court order to seek clarification from the court on Palma’s status as an MP.
Aufa said if there was no clarity on Palma’s status, then Parliament would have to be adjourned for another day to allow for this process.
“We cannot have a member of parliament who is in question to be in the House because it will raise questions,” he said.
“If Pomat does not get any answers from the court, he is likely to adjourn for another day or two. The running of the Parliament will depend very much on Palma’s case because like MPs said they cannot have a stranger in the house.”
Parliament started an hour late yesterday as representatives of both sides of the house discussed with Pomat how the order of the business would be conducted.
The session ended up in a shouting match between both sides.
After his opening remarks, Pomat explained to the House that there was a case regarding an MP which needed clarity. He made several attempts to seek leave of Parliament to adjourn for a day but was continuously shouted down by the Opposition MPs.
Pomat explained that Section 103 (3) (d) of the Constitution stated that a person adjudged insolvent under any law was not qualified to be or to remain as a member of parliament. He said the seat should become vacant.
“The National Court has jurisdiction to determine any question as to the qualification of a person to remain a member pursuant to Constitution Section 135,” he said.
Members of committee to discuss motion
THE members of the Parliament’s Private Business Committee are expected to meet tomorrow to discuss a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister James Marape.
The members named during the Parliament sitting on Nov 13 are Speaker Job Pomat, Deputy Speaker Koni Iguan, Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo, Nipa-Kutubu MP Jeffery Komal, Kandep MP Alfred Manase, Lagaip-Porgera Tomait Kapili and Pomio MP Elias Kapavore.
The motion was moved by Opposition Leader Belden Namah and seconded by Sir Puka Temu. It was signed by 13 MPs from the Opposition yesterday.
The committee if it decides that the motion “is of national importance” will deliver a copy to the clerk to parliament who will then inform all MPs about it.
A notice of motion of no confidence is a private notice of motion and shall have precedence on Private Business day.
Furore in House as MPs exchange fire
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
PARLIAMENT erupted in chaos when points of order were raised after Speaker Job Pomat announced he would be adjourning Parliament to tomorrow to sort out the status of Kerowagi MP Bari Palma in court.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah wanted to present the “court decision” on Palma to the Speaker who did not accept it.
Namah told Pomat he was “misleading parliament” and “you should leave the chair” which brought loud responses from the Government side.
Pomat had to raise his voice several times as the chamber erupted into shouts from both sides of the house.
Police Minister Bryan Kramer then raised a point of order which saw more shouts from the Opposition.
“This paper you (Namah) have has no meaning to be given to the speaker. You (speaker) have to make a point of order to the call for a vote because we have a stranger in the house.”
Namah again asked that he tendered the document but Pomat refused to accept it.
Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch stood up for another point of order.
“I think we need to restore some decorum in the chair, Mr Speaker. This is your job you need to leave and seek legal advice,” he said.
Madang Governor Peter Yama agreed with the Speaker and suggested that he should seek advice from the court. It calmed down the MPs for a while.
Namah then tried to move a motion to adjourn parliament which caused another round of shouting.
Minister for Petroleum Kerenga Kua told Parliament a slip rule application had been filed by the Government.
“Just yesterday (Monday) we filed a SC slip rule application, one of the questions before the court is whether a non-minister like MP Namah can move the motion to adjourn. That is why its sub-judice and we cannot entertain it here.”
Parliament was then adjourned to tomorrow.
Abel: We have right to move motion of no confidence
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
Our Development Party leader Charles Abel said it was the right of MPs to move a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister James Marape.
“It is our absolute right. We are doing our utmost to follow all the legal requirements,” he said.
Abel also criticised the way Pomat handled yesterday’s Parliament sitting by adjourning it quickly.
“The Marape-led Government displayed the fact that it does not have the numbers. Papua New Guineans saw it (on live television) in Parliament.
“We gave the Government the opportunity to show their numbers. All they could do was shout and yell.”
The Opposition filed the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister James Marape.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah moved the motion seconded by Abau MP Sir Puka Temu. It was signed by 13 MPs in Parliament yesterday.
Clerk to Parliament Kala Aufa said the motion had reached Speaker Job Pomat, the chairman of Parliament’s Private Business Committee which sits tomorrow to discuss it.
Abel said Pomat’s lecture on legal issues was irrelevant.
“(Marape) was talking about handing down the budget. He is telling us to show our numbers. We are attempting to do so but he continues to frustrate it,” Abel said.
“It is a minority Government. It has lost the mandate of the Parliament. It cannot pass the budget. The prime minister should simply resign.”
He said the Opposition MPs had stayed on course for four weeks.
“We are determined and will not waiver. We are united on the decision that this Government is damaging this country very badly. The Speaker must allow Parliament to entertain this motion.”
Police happy with public response to instructions
POLICE officers during the Parliament sitting yesterday reported no issues as city residents chose to listen to their radios or watch television at home.
National Capital District/Central commander Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambie Jr said police maintained security with motorists complying with rules.
ACP Wagambie was pleased with the operation by police around Parliament House adhered to by the people.
Only MPs, Parliament workers, staff of MPs and journalists were allowed into Parliament.
Mobile Squad units maintained visibility around Parliament House.
Parliament has been adjourned to tomorrow by Speaker Job Pomat. Police will again maintain their presence around Parliament House.
“Public gatherings will not be entertained by police on Wednesday. All residents of NCD are encouraged to go about their business as usual and allow members of parliament to carry out their duties.”
“It was quiet with many taking to listening to their radios and watching TV at home than waiting around the vicinity of Parliament House,” Wagambie said.
The National noted that police were also positioned on the hill near the golf course.