The National, Friday 06th January 2012
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
GRAND Chief Sir Michael Somare yesterday arrived in Madang to a rousing welcome by the Sepik community.
As early as 5.30am, people were lining the roads to welcome him with flowers, placards and banners.
Sir Michael had wanted to quietly slip into the province as part of his New Year holiday break.
Also present at the Madang Resort Hotel was Sir Arnold Amet and former People’s Action Party man Ben Semri, who had joined the National Alliance party, according to National Alliance regional coordinator for Momase Atis Deme.
Madang had so far produced five MPs for the party, the highest so far. The province is seen as the party’s base for talks and other matters.
Sir Arnold, in a recent meeting with locals, called on the Peter O’Neill government to respect the Constitution of the country as the pillar of democracy.
He said the real reason behind O’Neill’s shameless fight to hold onto power was to control the treasury leading into the general election.
While trying to explain the current political and constitutional dilemma to the people at Dylup, Sir Arnold said: “The governor-general has no power to dissolve parliament. Only parliament, through a motion, can.
“But O’Neill, (Speaker Jeffery) Nape and (Belden) Namah have not done that using section 145 (motion of no-confidence).
“Do you have courage? I dare you. If you have got courage of your conviction, you move the motion. If not, then, you are illegitimate.”
Sir Arnold pointed out that the only legitimate move after the Supreme Court decision would be for the O’Neill faction to let Sir Michael be reinstated and see whether there was a numerical strength to hold onto power.
He said a lot of changes were done such as in the Prime Minister and NEC Act and the age limit of prime ministers.
Sir Arnold said if the O’Neill faction had moved that motion, it would in turn automatically see Sir Michael and his group as the caretaker government.
But that did not eventuate as he insisted that they were trying to “manipulate the Department of Finance and Treasury for their own gain”.
A relaxed Sir Michael had breakfast with his supporters and continued with other functions set out for the day by the party executives.