PUBLIC Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare, in an unprecedented move, invoked parliamentary Standing Order 140 to challenge Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat to name the three ministers whom he alleged had put a price on his head, The National reports.
Marat, who looked lost, was saved by Speaker Jeffrey Nape who told him not to answer the question.
Somare tried to raise the question again during question time but was refused by Speaker, who ruled that a minister cannot ask a question.
Somare then stood up after question time to say the integrity of Parliament had been brought into question by such allegations.
“The allegations have been backed by opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta through the media without any evidence.
“Section 140 of the parliamentary standing orders stated that questions may be put to a member, relating to any bill, motion or other public matter connected with the business of Parliament of which the member has charged.
“The allegation of a plot to kill Marat is a question of integrity, that the integrity of parliament is being question,” Somare said.
“Husat tru dispela tripela minister?
“Sapos yu go long niuspepa long tok long memba blong gavaman askim ol man long kilim yu? (Who are these three ministers? You had gone to the media of members in government asking criminals to kill you.)
Somare asked Marat to name the ministers and if he could also produce evidence for the relevant authorities to investigate.
Nape, after seeking advice from the clerk of Parliament, refused the Rabaul MP to answer the question.
“I will not allow the member to answer the question. I will ask the Rabaul MP to come to my office to discuss this issue,” he said.
Nape said he would then make a statement to Parliament.
Imbonggu MP Francis Awesa, who was also trying to raise a point of order, was ruled out.