Opposition refers Nape to Ombudsman


NATIONAL Parliament Speaker Jeffery Nape has been referred to the Ombudsman Commission for not entertaining in parliament the opposition’s vote of no-confidence motion against the government in July.
The opposition delivered its complain to the Ombudsman Commission last month and referred the abrupt adjournment of parliament for three months to Nov 16 was a tactic used by the government to avoid defeat through a vote of no-confidence.

The complaint, which the Ombudsman confirmed receiving, said Nape was in breach of his duties and responsibilities of the leadership code provided under the National Constitution. “Our notice of motion for a vote of no-confidence was lodged but the speaker never had the matter listed on the notice paper for mention that day,” deputy opposition leader Bart Philemon said.

“Nor did he (Nape) mentioned that such a notice of motion had been presented before his office and the manner in which it was to be dealt with.” Philemon said instead, Nape accepted a motion by leader of government business, Paul Tiensten, to have parliament adjourned for three months.

The Lae MP said the speaker completely ignored the motion and then unilaterally adjourned parliament without entertaining a motion for division called and seconded by members of parliament. The opposition said it was very cheap was for the government to escape defeat in a vote of no-confidence.

“This action by the government to use the office of the speaker to avoid a vote of no-confidence has compromised the duties and responsibilities of the office of the speaker of the National Parliament,” Philemon stressed. The letter of complaint to the Ombudsman Commission stated that Nape did not acknowledge and entertain the notice of motion of no-confidence in the prime minister as required under the Constitution and standing orders of parliament.

It also stated that Nape knowingly adjourned parliament for three months from July 22 to Nov 16, breaching the requirements section 124 which calls for parliament to sit for 21 days during a parliamentary sitting.

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