PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS, CONSTITUTION AND INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNANCE ARE AT STAKE.

by YAKAN LEPAKAILI
 
The action of the deputy and acting Speaker of Parliament in the last Parliament session was well calculated and his action is not surprising but demeans the parliamentary process and democracy to say the least. This is in the light of opposition moving the motion of no-confidence notice.

Initially, when deputy opposition leader sponsored the MONC, acting Speaking called it defective. The approach acting Speaker taken to make the ruling was it proper and followed the tenets of the Parliamentary Standing Orders leaves lot to be desired.
The acting Speaker then returned the defective MONC notice to the sponsor to rectify the anomaly and surely resubmitted. In the second time, acting Speaker, on a Thursday, received the amended MONC notice.

Whilst the opposition camp was throwing heart and soul into moving the MONC, those in the opposing team had counter plans on foot to outpace opposition.

Typically, with Westminster system of governance, the opposition is given ample time (1 week) to prepare and reply to the budget. Opposition instead was denied. The government frustrated the opposition in succeeding by 1) short circuited the parliamentary process to pass the budget, 2) adjourned parliament to March next year (2016) not fulfilling 63 constitutional requirement seating days, 3) using the Permanent Parliament Committee (PPC) whose committee members all PNC have nullified the MONC.
Reasons stated as to why the PPC rejected the MONC is pathetic, shallow and lacking decency. Moving MONC is a constitutional requirement stipulated in the constitution. One would never know the outcome. Anything could have happened on the floor on the heat of the moment.

The action of PPC chaired by acting Speaker Aide Ganasi was presumptuous in nature and showcased hooliganism and mob attack style leadership. No sign of people with soundness and balance of mind on the part of government including the members of PPC chaired by acting Speaker. PPC and government’s action is no different to that of rowdy youth behaviours on the street in Lae terrorising and intimidating street vendors.

Government which is boastful of its numerical strength shouldn’t be scaremongering but meet the challenge to provide the numbers and defeat the MONC on the floor of parliament. Not shying away by long adjournment.

The act of introducing and passing the budget in the same day, adjournment of parliament 63 less seating days and rejecting MONC on assumption by PPC is a sure sign of desperate and power hungry people. Their actions are nothing short of an analogy likened that of blood thirsty pack of wolfs converging on a carcase.
The constitution that gave birth to this beautiful nation of Papua New Guinea is being hijacked, tampered and breached time and again by a desperate man at the helm of the ruthless, totalitarian and tyrannical regime.
In the short political history of Papua New Guinea, if there was a political party lacked in prudency in managing the economy of Papule New Guinea in record time is none other than Peoples National Congress (PNC) under the leadership of late Bill W. Skate. If there was a record of long adjournment of parliament to evade MONC, it was again PNC led government during the tenure of late Bill Skate. We have a replica of Bill Skate days yet again and history is repeating.

Desperate Peter O’Neil’s action speaks volume of his greed to stay in power as long as it takes. His trail of corruption beginning with NPF saga is vivid in the minds of many PNGeans. Adding to the list, illegal removal of Grand Chief Michael Somare from his government. An extension of grace period from 18 to 30 months. Reduction of parliament seating days from 63 down to 40 and increment from 11 to 22 MPs to sign on the notice of MONC. Furthermore, PO sacked Treasury Minister on controversial UBS loan, PO authorised payment of K50 million to LR bypassing procurement process for purchasing two gen sets, PO authorised payment of K71.8 million to Paraka Lawyers, PO decommissioned Chairman Sam Koim of Task Force Sweep team, PO made RPNGC a political tool, PO intimidated National Fraud Squad team with looming arrest warrant & purported sacking, PO replaced Jubilee Tindiwi, PO banned QC lawyers from entering PNG and finally, PO threatened to investigate the Chief Magistrate of PNG. Infamous PO’s finger print is all over and everywhere.

However and from which angel one looks in, all controversy is surrounding Peter O’Neil. PO is unilaterally making the decisions targeted at individual Papua New Guineans in his smear tactic to intimidate till he achieves. But in the event that doesn’t succeed, he is hell bent to lure them with offer of bribes. PO will not let go his grip on power that easily. PO will go down fighting until his last breadth.

Should PO surrender; he is going to lose in real big time and in a big way. The opportunities he has created to catch in the cash through hefty kickbacks and setting businesses left-right-centre can’t belief it’s for real.
His business partners feeling not safe and swirling in the background with uneasiness and are equally restless with abnormal heart beat. Their hands are fastened together and jaws are tightly locked and watching every development in the political scene with intense interest. Same is true with bureaucrats. The longevity of their employability is sure when PO is at the helm to continue enjoying perks and privileges that is in the employment package.

To compare and contrast, amongst all the past Prime Ministers we have ever had as PM, though successive Prime Ministers were not people of impeccable character and had their share of shortcomings, but by any standard, the worst corrupt Prime Minister Papua New Guinea has ever known, apparently it is Peter O’Neil and it is under PNC in the political making of PNG’s political history.

For how long, corrupt PO (well backed up by retinue of corrupted members of parliament on the government side and bureaucrats who become conduits syphoning money through gross corrupt means), in pursuit of his political aspiration; continue to threaten the constitution, destroy parliamentary procedures and at disintegration of institutions of governance and yet be passive and ignorant? Should we wait and take to 2017 national election and bet our vengeance on this corrupt regime?