OPPOSITION FILES A FRESH NEW APPLICATION CHALLENGING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF MARAPE’S ELECTION AS PRIME MINISTER.
After the Supreme Court’s decision handed down last Friday, 27th of March, the Opposition leader Hon. Belden Namah files a fresh new application challenging the constitutionality of Marape Election as the Prime Minister of The Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
While the focus of the people and the leaders of the Nation are put on the country safety on the global pendemic that is directly affecting the lives and economy of the Country, Namah shows very little or no concern in standing with the Marape-Steven government in addressing the issue.
Yet, Namah considers his political and legal game more important than the lives of the eight (8) million plus population of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. His actions shows that he is a vision-less and a shortsighted leader with the current trend of the global pandemic the world is facing and its impact on the nation’s economy and its people.
Firstly, let me thank the Members of the Judiciary for the decision that was handed down by the Supreme Court on Friday, 27th of March. This was a fully considered legal decision and a further demonstration of the strength of the independence of the judiciary in our country.
The legal proceedings that I initiated are nothing personal and or political.
This is a very important matter of Parliamentary process that will have implications for strengthening the lariat and formality of process in the formation of Governments in our country for generations to come.
It is the Constitutional responsibility of the Opposition to keep the government of the day in check and transparent and accountable at all times for and on behalf of the people of our country.
Amongst one of our paramount responsibilities of the Parliamentary Opposition is to protect the Constitution of our country and to ensure we conduct the business of Parliament in accordance with the parameters set out by our National Constitution.
Despite claims by James Marape on Friday that the matter is closed, the decision by the Supreme Court was not anything to do with the substantive matters of the Application.
Out of the four grounds considered by the Supreme Court on Friday 27th of March in James Marape’s Competency Application, three of the grounds raised by James Marape were dismissed, while the only matter upheld was the wrong word used on the Form. The word used was Reference instead of Application.
I appreciate that this inaccuracy was a matter that the court could not accept as this was a clear oversight by my legal counsel.
At this point, I wish to inform our people and our nation is that Opposition has just filed a fresh new Section 18 (1) Application challenging the Constitutionality of James Marape’s election as Prime Minister, so that this matter can be properly heard and a conclusion reached.
It is my hope that this process will be heard promptly as a matter of serious public importance, because our people need to know if the election of James Marape was legitimate.
It is not lost on us that this Application comes at a time that the world is facing the threat of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I would like to reassure the people of our nation that we in the Opposition stand united in the fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic.
In fact, we are the ones urging the government to recall Parliament, declare a State of Emergency at the appropriate time and to pass a Stimulus Budget to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic.
We thank our people of our beautiful country, especially our supporters, for their continuous prayers and support.
We further thank our team of lawyers, under the leadership of Mr. Greg Sheppard the Principal of Young & Williams Lawyers, and Mr. Matthew Tamutai of Tamutai Lawyers for their tireless work.
True and transparent democratic process is the cornerstone of our country, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, and we must all stand together to defend our democratic process no matter how much we are criticized for doing so.
HON. BELDEN NORMAN NAMAH, MP
Leader of the Opposition.
Scan copy of the Media Statement Attached Below.
DECLARATION OF SoE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, NAMAH SAID.
“DECLARATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY BY JAMES MARAPE UNCONSTITUTIONAL – PARLIAMENT MUST BE RECALLED TO PASS EMERGENCY ACT TO DEAL WITH CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.” Said BELDEN NAMAH.
LEADER of the PNG Opposition Hon. Belden Norman Namah
Tuesday 24 March 2020
See detailed Media Statement by the Opposition containing relevant provisions of the Constitution attached.
Mr. Steven Paisi, a Lawyer made a very fare comment and I quote,
“The country’s situation requires a bipartisan approach. But since Mr Namah had clearly quoted law, he should by now understand that the National Executive Council (NEC) makes the actual decision to declare the SOE. The Governor General acts on advice from the NEC.
The PM can announce the SOE as long as the Gazette Notice is signed by the Governor General. This is obvious from s.230 of the Constitution referred to by Namah’s media release.
Even if no Emergency Laws were passed at the time the PM made the public announcement, Parliament can always pass Emergency laws at a later date and make it apply retrospectively. So it would be good to have bipartisan support when the Emergency laws are put through Parliament and give them retro effect.”
What is your opinion? Can we say that the Leader of the opposition is right?
Where was Namah and his opposition team when the discussions and meetings were going on discussing matters pertaining the situation of Coronavirus, a global endemic?
Has the Marape-Steven government sought through the constitution and followed due processes and protocols to declare the State of emergency?
If Namah was fully aware that the declaration of the state of emergency was unconstitutional, then why he wrote at the first place asking the government a favor to appoint him to lead this emergency situation with the coronavirus situation?
There are many questions you may want to add on to the lists here. In short, constitutionally, Namah is right in what he is doing. If the declaration of the state of emergency was constitutionally illegal, then Namah, in his right frame of mind could have waited and allowed for the coronavirus situation to contain. After containment and uplifting of the emergency, he can summon the government before the court.
However, with his current media conferencing and press statements, it shows that Namah does not care about and gave a thought about the lives of 8 million Papua New Guineans are in danger of coronavirus endemic. Namah has lost trust and confidence and respect from the people of Papua New Guinea.
The showcasing of his leadership is seen and described as a ‘Political Rambo’ in the politics of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
God Bless Papua New Guinea.