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Vanimo Green MP Belden Namah claims the Marape government is set on destroying the political party system in Papua New Guinea.
As one of the few remaining Opposition MPs, Namah said first and foremost the Supreme Court reference on the validity of the current Prime Minister’s election will proceed and not be withdrawn.
“The decision by the now former leader of the Opposition, Patrick Pruatich, to move to government is a sad day for the democracy in PNG and is against the Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates that we have in our country,” Namah said.
After the announcement Tuesday that the National Alliance(NA) party had moved to government, the Post-Courier contacted Namah as he was one of the MPs in Opposition.
He said; “Members of Parliament in the Opposition like myself will now elect a new opposition leader and take the government and the Prime Minister to account for its actions.
“First and foremost, the Supreme Court Reference on the validity of the current Prime Minister’s election will proceed. This Supreme Court Reference is not in the name of Patrick Pruaitch, but it is in the name of the position of the Opposition Leader and while the Prime Minister might think he has bought the silence of the Opposition, we will continue to protect the democratic processes and the rule of law in Papua New Guinea,” Namah said.
“The Opposition will see this court application through on behalf of the men, women and children of Papua New Guinea. Democracy in PNG cannot be bought by the government of the day and l have demonstrated that time and time again.
“The one thing that has become very clear is that the policies of the Marape government are no different to the O’Neill government. There have been no new policy announcements, there has been no real reforms initiated and we are seeing jobs for Marape’s friends and family beginning With the (PNG) Defence secretary. For several years now I have stood with Patrick Pruaitch and analysed and condemned the wrong policies of James Marape as Finance Minister and now as Prime Minister. The governance of our country is about belief in what is right for our people,” he said.
“With everything we have seen from this disorganised and self-interested government, the Opposition stands firm to fulfill our mandate to take them to task. Importantly, we will fight corruption at the highest levels, particularly in the graft and corruption we know is going on,” he said.
Meanwhile, National Alliance party leader Patrick Pruaitch has said they will seek legal advice in relation to the legal action sought by the Opposition disputing the election of the Prime Minister James Marape.
With the remaining National Alliance and other opposition members now joining the government,Pruaitch has said the position of the National Alliance and opposition has changed.
“The position of National Alliance and the opposition has changed and no doubt we will be guided by the legal advice and appropriate instructions.”
When queried by the media on what has changed, Pruaitch said the interest of the country was of importance and that politics should take a back seat to the interest of PNG.
“Like I said, the interest of the country is paramount and leaders need to look at the interest to the country. I feel and our team feels that we have the experience and some of the best people we have are in the opposition like Sir Mekere Morauta, Ian Ling-Stuckey, Dr Allan Marat, Joseph Lelang and I, who has been the Treasurer and served two governments.
“We think that with this experience we need to lend that to the PM to assist him under his leadership to develop appropriate strategies going forward for the betterment of our country,” Pruaitch said.
“Politics we must leave. 44 years is a long time and the interest of the country must prevail.”
Pruaitch has filed an application seeking the high court to interpret certain sections of the Constitution pertaining to Marape’s election as the 8th Prime Minister of PNG.
The application alleges that the former PM Peter O’Neill’s purported withdrawal of his nominee (sponsored by Pruaitch) for the Prime Minister’s post and acceptance of the withdrawal by the Speaker after the close of nomination was unconstitutional, invalid and unlawful and therefore the ensuing election of Marape as prime minister is null and void.
In his section 18 Supreme Court Reference application, Pruaitch is requesting the High Court to declare that on the proper interpretation or application of sections 50, 59,108,142 and 158(2) of the Constitution, any purported withdrawal of the nomination for the vacant position of prime minister, other than by the nominator, was, and is unconstitutional, invalid and unlawful.
Last week, the Supreme Court allowed Pruaitch to proceed with the court reference challenging the election of James Marape has PM and the substantive matter will be heard on 20 September.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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