Marat: Speaker 'judicially bound' to allow vote of no confidence

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th of May. Dr. Marat’s comments come  after  a media conference by the Parliamentary Clerk’s office in which it was stated the  vote of  no confidence  will not happen  this month  if  parliament doesn’t sit for a full week. Details are important in this parliamentary process.  If parliament does not adjourn, on the 28th of May,  the Private Business Committee of which the Speaker is Chairman will meet on the 29th to decide  whether the  vote should  proceed.  However, if  the speaker decides to adjourn prematurely,  then the vote could be delayed until parliament does sit for a full week. While the processes are relatively straight forward, weaving through the multiple  layers of strategy leaves many  in the game of PNG politics short-winded and disorientated.  Last week, while the  opposition filed a notice of  motion for a vote of no confidence, the Government removed  opposition MPs on the Private Business committee  responsible for deciding if  votes of no confidence should proceed. Tari-Pori MP, James Marape, called it a “ploy” by the government to derail the vote. Dr. Marat has  further cautioned the speaker to remain independent of the  influence of the Government side of the house  through the Leader of Government  Business.

“The parliament is the territory of the speaker. The Speaker rules parliament.  Not the government.  We talk about the separation of powers between the executive government, the parliament and the judiciary.  They must at all times observe the doctrine of the separation of powers.”
But what  appears to be a contradiction  still has not been resolved or set aside legally by the government.  In 2016,  then opposition leader, Don Polye,  sought a supreme court reference. The supreme court then said that any notice of motion for a vote of no confidence motion  is of national importance and must be allowed by the speaker. Dr. Marat says since 2016, there has been no supreme court decision that has overruled the Polye  reference.
“Let me  caution the speaker that he is judicially bound to allow the vote of no confidence motion to proceed because it is not of parochial interests but  of national importance.
“Any decision  by the speaker that goes against the Supreme Court ruling will be in contempt of court.”]]>

Scott Waide

is the Lae Bureau Chief and began his career with EMTV in 1997 as a News and Sports Reporter and Anchor and has been a media professional for over 19 years. Having previously worked as a Producer and Researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Port Moresby Bureau, he is a recipient of multiple awards including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Prize in 2005 in Iran for best news feature, the Pacific Island News Association Award and the Divine Word University Media Freedom Award.

Scott Waide