A unanimous decision handed down by a five man Supreme Court Bench today has rejected the application by Leader of the Opposition, Belden Namah to challenge the appointment of James Marape as Prime Minister in 2019.
The grounds on which the Supreme Court based its decision on were whether Namah’s suspension due to a Leadership Tribunal in 2018 affects the competency of this matter in his capacity as the Opposition Leader.
In the 20 page decision handed down by the Supreme Court today, the five man bench ruled that proceedings by Namah were incompetent and ruled in Marape’s favour.
The first, second and fifth interveners in this matter who are Prime Minister Marpe, Deputy PM Davis Steven in his capacity as the Attorney General and Pangu Parti respectively filed an application for objection to competency.
This proceeding filed on 30th March this year challenges the process used in the appointment of James Marape as the eighth Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 30th May 2019.
The principal ground of objection was that, on the date of filing this application through to the date of objection to competency, Namah was suspended from duty under the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of the Leadership Code because of allegations of Misconduct of Office against him.
After the court’s decision was announced, lawyer representing the Attorney General indicated that he will be writing to the Speaker of Parliament to notify him of the court’s position.
By Theckla Gunga, EMTV News, Port Moresby