Unite and tackle flailing economy

Editorial

THE events of the past few days portend another constitutional crisis and a flurry of litigations.
No doubt lawyers on both sides of Parliament are already working to petition the high court to determine the legality of the events.
The Government was shocked last Friday when some MPs and 12 of its senior Cabinet ministers led by Deputy PM Sam Basil defected last week to the Opposition.
Then the Opposition, using its new numerical strength pushed through a motion to adjourn Parliament to Dec 1, blocking any chance of the Government tabling and approving the 2021 national budget.
Speaker Job Pomat, whose deputy Koni Iguan had chaired the sitting last Friday, found out later that the adjournment moved by Opposition Leader Belden Namah was illegal.
He pointed to Standing Order 43 which states that any motion for an adjournment could only be moved by a State minister.
He therefore recalled Parliament yesterday which then passed the 2021 national budget and adjourned to April 2021.
The Opposition, in camp in Vanimo, West Sepik was caught off guard.
What the country is faced with is a potential political crisis that may require constitutional lawyers and the Supreme Court to once more step in and bring some sense and order into the confusion brewing.
The legal challenges could derail the budget and delay funding to vital social and economic services to allow the economy to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19.
Every MP is mindful of this.
Yet, in a period of global uncertainty a sluggish local economy, the hapless citizens of PNG watch them time and again fail to get the country out of the economic quagmire it has found itself in, not necessarily by choice.
There certainly is a lot of confusion and questions.
Which side has the majority of MPs?
Was the adjournment last Friday proper?
Speaker Job Pomat recall Parliament in a proper and legal manner?
Was the 2021 budget passed yesterday be certified as a legal document to allow for normal government business to operate like in the past?
The people need more than ever a united approach by the MPs to tackle issues both economic and political facing their beloved nation.
They need vision and resolve to steer the nation through these turbulent moments.
What the people have witnessed in the past week or so give them little hope that they can trust the political leadership to steer the country to a better place.
This no time for political bickering and point-scoring.
Leave that to another time for all our sake.
The people are watching their elected leaders again acting in a reckless and childish manner, undermining and eroding the sanctity of the very institution all citizens look up to the PNG Parliament.
The global pandemic has already created enough problems for families and businesses.
The last thing people need now is seeing the MPs they had elected to steer the nation to a better place and bring them some comfort and prosperity squabbling over power like boys in a school yard.
Parliament has been compared to a circus before.
It seems it is now even worse.

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