Supreme Court: Somare legitimate PM

The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday confirmed that Sir Michael Somare is the legitimate Prime Minister.

The High Court in a three majority vote declared also that certain decisions and laws made by Parliament since last year were inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore is of no effect.

The decision which was supposed to be handed down by a five men bench on Monday had a little twist to it when the Deputy Chief Justice, Gibbs Salika and Justice Bernard Sakora suspended themselves from the bench.

The two judges decided not to read their written judgements as they felt it was not fair by the Courts to hand down a final decision when the Integrity of the Courts was being questioned.

The three judges, Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, Justice Nicholas Kirriwom and Justice Leas Gavara-Nanu, in their decision all maintained the December 12 Decision that, there was never a vacancy in the seat of the Prime Minister and that Sir Michael was still the lawful Prime Minister since the 2nd of August 2011.

They also ruled that the Parliament’s decision made on the 9th of December 2011 to withdraw leave of absence granted to Sir Michael Somare for the May meeting is inconsistent with certain parts of the Constitution and is invalid.

Two other laws passed by the Parliament ,The Prime Minister and National Executive Council Amendment  Act 2011 passed by Parliament on the 21 of December 2011 on the age limit of the Prime Minister has been declared unconstitutional by the Courts.   

The Court also declared that the election of Peter O’Neil as Prime Minister on the 12 of December was unconstitutional and the Governor General’s recognition of Peter O’Neil as PM was unlawful.

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