Papua New Guinea opposition Leader and Kandrian Gloucester MP, Joseph Lelang has informed the nation that he intends to seek legal interpretation at the Supreme Court for both the Defence Cooperation Agreement(DCA) and the Ship Rider agreement signed between Papua and the United States on May 22nd this year.
He said while Parliament was allowed to debate on these Agreements, the Government introduced the Agreements without any opportunity for informed debate. Instead, it was acting like a salesman trying to sell the agreements. Unfortunately, their sugar-coated arguments had contradicted the actual texts of the Agreement. It shows that they do not know what they are entering into with the United States, that much was obvious.
The Opposition Leader said I have raised the issues of immunity several times on the floor of Parliament but was interrupted saying I was misleading the people.
“So, I am taking the Defence Cooperation Agreement and the Ship Rider’s Agreement to the court.
“The signing of the agreement was very unpopular sparking so much public outcry right across the nation. People don’t want the Government to enter into this agreement with the United States,” he said in a statement.
Lelang said “the opposition is here to make sure that we protect the nation’s sovereignty and interests of our people”.
He said while he appreciates that government have the prerogative to enter into such bilateral agreements they should not impinge on the sovereignty and constitutional rights of our people or to expose us and our future generations to risks of war.
The Opposition Leader said that he will be guided by his lawyers but his intention is to file a Reference in the Supreme Court for legal interpretation of the content of the two Agreements and the manner in which the Government has introduced and dealt with the Agreements in Parliament.
SOURCE: PNG OPPOSITION/PACNEWS