NATIONAL Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil has described as irresponsible and unbecoming comments by parliamentarians determined to usurp power by using Sir Michael Somare, The National reports.
"I can't believe former acting prime minister and Member for Wabag Sam Abal would sink so low as to verbally place the Grand Chief on a collision course on the floor of parliament by suggesting that Sir Michael would take the Prime Minister's seat in parliament," he said.
"Firstly, there is only one head of the legislature, which is the Speaker of the National Parliament, Jeffery Nape.
"Sam Abal was there when the new Prime Minister Peter O'Neill was elected in parliament. The instruments of appointment were signed by the Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio.
"Why has Abal, knowing all this, attempted to direct Sir Michael to a chair already occupied by O'Neill?
"That is pre-emptor of the Supreme Court case and should amount to contempt both of
the court and of the national parliament," Basil said.
"What I fail to understand is just what sort of family, friends and associates would drag a weak, struggling, old man who many respect as the founding father of the nation in their political power games.
"Why can't they all appreciate that whatever the Supreme Court ruling is, the bottom line is that 70 MPs against 24 voted in O'Neill as the new prime minister on Aug 2 in parliament and will do so again if required."
Basil intends to refer Abal to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee for his comments on the chair to be occupied by Sir Michael.
He said the comments threatened the decorum and dignity of parliament.