The National, Wednesday 08th Febuary 2012
THE recent mutiny by the defence personnel has prompted me to question the reasons behind Sir Michael Somare and his faction’s continuous call for the respect of the Constitution.
Even the retired colonel’s EMTV address to the media stressed that he was only trying to protect and uphold the Constitution.
As a simple layman, parliament breached the Constitution by declaring a vacancy in the office of the prime minister.
It has now made amendments to the Constitution after the Supreme Court ruling.
Does parliament have the power to do that?
Yes, it has and, in the process, declared the East Sepik regional seat vacant.
Why can’t the Somare faction respect that parliamentary decision?
When the Somare faction was in government, it also manipulated existing laws to suit itself.
Parliament was adjourned for a long period of time, debates were gagged and so on.
For the silent majority, it is simple – we do not want the Somare faction back in power again.
The current impasse would not have happened if Sir Michael had told the people the truth, that he was going out for a major heart surgery.
Then parliament would put in place proper legislation so that he can come back once he has recovered.
I suggest he heed the advice by former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer (The National, Feb 1) where he said: “Sir Michael Somare should permanently retire. And he should. He has been in politics for way too long. He does not have anything left to contribute.”
I believe the best thing is for Sir Michael is to listen to that advice and retire.
John F. Kennedy’s once said: “Think not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country.”
It was best summed up by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when he told Sir Michael last week: “This country has looked after you and your family well for 45 years.”
The decision is Sir Michael’s.
He can retire and move on or continue with his claim and take the whole nation down with him.