Namah protests over his suppression of Parliamentary privilege

Opposition leader, Belden Namah, stormed out ofthe Parliament on Friday in Protest over what he called suppression of Parliamentary privilege.

It happened when he was prevented from asking questions on payment of millions of kina to a private law firm for services tothe government.

It was towardsthe end of question time inthe house whenthe opposition leader was giventhe floor bythe speaker. Before asking his questions, a quick comment onthe predicament of numbers inthe opposition giventhe recent crossings tothe government;then he got down to business and began firing away on a huge sum of money, more than seventy million kina paid to a private law firm between last year and this year for services rendered tothe government.

As Mr. Namah began a point of order was raised. The Speakerthen explained that a court order onthe matterthe opposition leader was referring to is in place restraining public debate.

Dissatisfythe opposition leader insisted onthe grounds of public importance and parliamentary privilege. Bet unable to continue,the opposition leaderthen stormed out ofthe house in protest.

Immediately after, Mr. Namah held a news conference where he was pointed and loud and against corruption in Papua New Guinea

The law firm in question immediately issued a letter tothe media outlets remindingthem ofthe court order in place in 2007. That same order had been issued tothe anti-corruption sweep team. Sweep leader, Sam Koim saidthe order prevented his team from futher pursuingthe matter.

The order is basically to prevent debate publicity or futher legal action. It is putting a lid on an issue that already appears to be very public.

The name ofthe law firm is already on parliament records –the hands hard; andthe subject ofthe intense comment onthe social media.

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Thomas Huliambari

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