Friday, August 05, 2011

Nonggorr: Both regimes at fault

 THE actions of both the in-coming government and the out-going one are in breach of the Constitution, a leading constitutional lawyer said yesterday, The National reports.
Prof John Nonggorr blamed this on the "unbridled greed of politicians" acting in their own interest rather than that of the people and the country.
He described Tuesday's election of a new prime minister as a "sad day in our history".
Nonggorr said: "We, today, have an illegitimate government. The purported election is unconstitutional. 
"Sir Michael Somare remains the prime minister. 
"In his absence, due to ill-health, Sam Abal is the acting prime minister. The office of prime minister is not vacant by operation of the Constitution. 
"How can parliament elect a prime minister when there is no vacancy?
"While Sir Michael has not resigned and parliament has not voted, on the advice of  two doctors coming through the governor-general, to remove Sir Michael, this purported election cannot be based on a vacancy in the office of prime minister," Nonggorr said.
"There has not been a vote of no-confidence, which will require at least seven days' notice and other procedures to be followed. Indeed, the period for a vote of no-confidence ought to be properly brought against a government to remove a prime minister, and for a new prime minister to be elected, expires on Aug 5 – today.
"What the members of parliament have done is a blatant disregard for the rule of law. 
"Has the parliament now become so disgraceful that no one follows any rules and shows decency anymore?
"The speaker has let the country down for a very long time. This is the final straw."
Nonggorr also attacked the immediate past government headed by Abal.
"The government that Abal was leading acted unconstitutionally as well. If that government was following the law, especially the Constitution, two doctors should have been appointed as soon as it was known that Sir Michael was undergoing heart surgery. 
"That is what the law expects. Instead, the government has been pussy-footing around for more than three  months. 
"If the law was followed, parliament should have voted to stand down Sir Michael already. 
"But, two wrongs do not make a right. The opposition cannot do what is unconstitutional – they are as bad and disgraceful as the people they are attempting to get rid of."
Nonggorr said the entire process of engaging Dr Isi Kevau to provide a medical report was not stipulated in law and was a "complete waste of time".
"All these MPs should be ashamed of themselves. They are doing this for control of the money that is coming into the country before the elections. They want to control it, use it, abuse it, corrupt it. It is all about themselves. And, who suffers? PNG.
"For those observers outside of PNG, there are many decent, hard-working, law-abiding and intelligent Papua New Guineans who detest these types of behaviour displayed by so-called members of parliament. 
"These MPs do not represent de­cent Papua New Guineans and we are all ashamed of their behaviour and angry about the way they are playing their dirty games while the majority of our people are suffering."
Nonggorr is the second senior lawyer this week to condemn Tuesday's election in parliament as unconstitutional. 
Peter Donigi expressed similar sentiments on Tuesday.

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