The chair of the Morobe’s provincial house of assembly, the Tutumang, has ruled against a call by the Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, calling for a provincial resolution asking for the Prime Minister to step aside.
Basil made the call yesterday, citing recent student tensions behind his reasoning. He also repeated calls that the Prime Minister should face investigations.
The chairman, Governor Kelly Naru, fended off the call saying a resolution had already been reached, and that the court process would have to be allowed to take its full course.
Basil wasn’t at the Tutumang session on Tuesday when the Provincial Assembly passed a resolution that it would allow the court process to run its full course with regard to the warrant of arrest for the Prime Minister.
The Tutumang from the outset appears to have been cautious about taking a stand that pushes for the Prime Minister to step aside.
But even with Tuesday’s resolution, the Bulolo MP and Deputy Opposition Leader said there should have been more debate.
The Tutumang has been, historically, a mover and shaker of national and regional politics. Under Governor Luther Wenge, the Tutumang took the national government to court and successfully forced out a contingent of Australian Federal Police officers sent to PNG under the Enhanced Cooperation Program.
It has also, through its resolutions, challenged the national government over the distribution of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Yesterday’s session was attended by the Deputy leader of the Prime Minister’s People’s National Congress, Siassi MP, Mao Zeming, and Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc.
Zurenuoc said during the adjournment that he supported Governor Naru’s ruling but indicated the quality of debate fell short of expectations.
Governor Naru has, personally remained adamant that the court process should be allowed to run its full course. However, his views have in many cases come into conflict with various community leaders expressing the opposite.