Papua New Guinea Parliament has been furnished the Government’s proposed sessional orders of the procedures to ratify or decide on the referendum result come ratification day.
Bougainville Affairs Minister Manasseh Makiba said officials engaged in dialogue under the Era Kone Covenant attempting to agree to the text of the proposed Constitutional regulations disagreed on the meaning of ratification and decision.
He said Parliament must give thought of the fact that independence was stressed as one of the choices for the referendum in the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) for reasons.
Prior to tabling the results of the referendum and the report of the consultations for a decision of the Parliament, the Parliament needs to adopt the procedures that may be adhered to.
“Officials engaged in dialogue under the Era Kone Covenant, attempting to agree to the text of the proposed Constitutional Regulations disagree on the meaning of “ratification” and “decision”.
The word “ratification” is used in the Bougainville Peace Agreement whereas the word “any decision” is used in section 342 of the Constitution which actually gives effect to Clause 311 of the BPA.”
“In view of this differing views, the following options are available to fill the Procedural gap:
– Parliament may amend the Constitution itself to prescribe the procedure or
– Parliament may amend the Standing Orders of the Parliament to provide for a stand-alone Standing Order to deal with the Bougainville Referendum result, or
– Parliament may approve Constitutional Regulations under section 349 of the Constitution prescribing the procedure pursuant to the agreements reached in the Era Kone Covenant as alluded to earlier; or
– Parliament may make a Sessional Order by resolution to deal with the Bougainville referendum result; or
Parliament may pass resolution to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for its opinion and guidance on the interpretation of section 342 of the Constitution regarding procedure for decision or ratifying the referendum result.
“Whilst the options raised above are for the Parliament to choose, after consultation with the Speaker, Clerk of Parliament, State Solicitor, the ABG leadership, and the National Executive Council, it is proposed that the Parliament adopt a procedure by way of Sessional Orders.
“The procedure by Sessional Order is the most appropriate and expeditious method to deal with the referendum result.
The Sessional Order, in principle will provide the following procedure for Parliament to ratify or decide on the referendum result.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS