Somare: Monday’s events insignificant

National, Normal

The National,Thursday 22nd December 2011

GRAND Chief Sir Michael Somare said the events at Government House on Monday this week had no bearing on the legitimacy of  government.
“I believe the governor-general is clearly under duress by the O’Neill-Namah Regime.  They have used intimidation and fear tactics to force a back flip at Government House.
“My government is the only constitutionally legitimate government of Papua New Guinea,” Sir Michael said.
“At the root of illegality of the O’Neill-Namah regime is the false contention that parliament can remove me as the East Sepik provincial member.
“Considering that fundamental flaw, there is no basis to elect a new prime minister nor for the governor-general to swear in an alternative cabinet.”
“In putting together our Constitution in 1976 we made sure that decisions are not vested in other members of parliament to remove fellow members of parliament at a whim or on the basis of political vendettas.”
Sir Michael said the Constitution granted the National Court exclusive jurisdiction on whether the seat of a member became vacant.
“This was clearly established by the Supreme Court Decision of Dec 12.
“This appears to be the first time in 36 years that parliament has made retrospective amendments to an Act of Parliament seeking to legitimise its self-serving actions.
“Given that the O’Neill-Namah regime understand all their actions are invalid, they attempted to give credibility to their handiwork by returning to Government House and re-recognising Sir Michael Ogio who they purportedly removed on Dec 14.
“In exchange, Sir Michael (GG) was coerced into errantly finding for the second time that parliament alone could retroactively determine my seat vacant.
“As duly elected members of parliament, it is our duty to protect the Constitution and our people from such reckless attacks upon our independent institutions of government,” Sir Michael said.