Posted By Staff Reporter
POLYE, BASIL TO ACTING SPEAKER: CONSTITUTION, STANDING ORDERS MUST DICTATE RULING ON MOTION OF NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE-MEDIA REPORT MUST NOT INFLUENCE
The Private Business Parliamentary committee must not draw its judgements from ‘misconstrued media reports’ but should do so within the boundaries of the Constitution and the Standing Orders, the Opposition says.
The Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye and the mover of the motion of no-confidence and his Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil have urged the acting Speaker Aide Ganasi and his committee to adhere to the Constitution and the Parliamentary Standing Orders when vetting on the contents of the Motion of No-Confidence against the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Mr Polye said Mr Basil would write a letter to the Speaker, enclosing the legal advice they received to indicate that what the Post Courier and others reported was completely misreporting.
He said the committee could not make decisions or take any actions based on media reports but it must be based on what is constitutional and by the Standing Orders.
Their call comes after the seconder of the motion Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s ‘sincere comment was misconstrued by the media.’
“What kind of authorities do the media has which will influence the outcome of the motion?”
“What the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare as a seconder of the motion said, I think, was deliberately misconstrued by the Post Courier and other media outlets so we would like to put it straight,” Mr Polye told reporters at a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday (Monday).
He said when they read about the media reports of all these claims of technical issues raised, they went out to seek advice on the Constitution and the Standing Orders from constitutional lawyers in the country.
“We have discussed it with Loani Henao and Nemo Yalo lawyers to give us the correct perspective as to the interpretation of the Sections 143 and 145 of the Constitution which regulate a Motion of No-confidence, in particular the time restrictions.
“Seen together with the Constitution were the Standing Orders of the Parliament to guide us so that motion can be processed through within the context of democracy.
“Their advice gives explicit clarity that there is no time limitation as to moving a vote of No-Confidence on a sitting Prime Minister.
There are no any other restrictions except that the motion is moved by the Opposition or by any other member of Opposition signed by one tenth of the total MPs in Parliament. This is the process,” a well-briefed Polye said.
He said the signatories’ names, their electorates and other particulars were spelt correctly.
“This is what the legal advice dictates and we have done it exactly-dot by dot so I would like to correct Post Courier and other media outlets which continue to deliberately misconstrue the law.
"That is not right. Why did they continue to misconstrue the statement which is very sincere by leaders like the Grand Chief of PNG for newspapers and other media outlets to misreport,” he said.
The duo blasted the media for not verifying the fact with their in-house lawyers.
“You would remember the facts alluded to that there were three motions signed by the signatories with their consents. The first one signed was filed last year but was blocked.
“The second and the third are contingent motions as we know that they would look for simple mistakes just to disqualify the motion. We know that it will be sabotaged. We have seen the government hell-bent on undermining the democratic processes, the privileges and the constitutional mandate which the Opposition has.
“We knew this tactic was looming on the horizon so we signed two contingent motions and this is just one of them. The last is the one I am holding and the second one has already been filed. This has attracted some unnecessary comments,” he clarified.
Brushing aside media reports, Basil and Polye said the signatories themselves signed with ink pens.
They said it has been verily authenticated by those who signed.
“It has been prepared for the right time because this is the last window of opportunity to move a motion of No-confidence against the Prime Minister so that we had it prepared to file this motion when the Parliament sits. These are documental evidence we have to maintain Parliamentary democracy.
“I would like to make that point clear that the Opposition’s vote of no-confidence against the sitting Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is intact and we know that the people of PNG are with us.
“They want this government changed and therefore the Speaker and his committee will do the right thing by allowing the motion to be entertained on the floor of Parliament,” said Mr Polye.
Mr Maipakai confirmed signing on three motions.
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