Friday, September 02, 2011

Grand Chief returns


SIR Michael Somare will arrive in Port Moresby on Sunday from Singapore after a four-month ab­sence from Papua New Guinea, his son and Angoram MP Arthur Somare said yesterday, The National reports.
The Grand Chief's travel was necessary following the recall of parliament on Sept 6, Somare said.
Sir Michael's absence from parliament on Tuesday would be his third since he was hospitalised in Singapore, automatically disqualifying him from office as the parliamentary member for East Sepik by operation of law.
This would also have a bearing on the constitutional reference before the Supreme Court challenging the legitimacy of the new government headed by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.
Somare said: "Rather than run the risk (of being disqua­lified), we have appealed and he has agreed to make, if you like, the treacherous journey to PNG.
"The flight might be a bit risky but he will, most likely, be accompanied by an Air Niugini doctor.
"He has also been cleared by his physician in Singapore, Dr Chan, to travel."
Somare said all necessary medical clearance was in order and Sir Michael was fit and well to leave Singapore tomorrow, and arriving in Port Moresby on Sunday morning.
Somare emphasised that there would be no official welcome for the Grand Chief on his return.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah called on the Somare family to stop forcing the Grand Chief to make the trip if he was still unwell, saying, if necessary, he would ask doctors to clear him to travel.
Standing orders dictated that a member's presence will be determined by his physical presence in the chamber in order to appear on the roll of the clerk of parliament.
Sir Michael would return to Singapore after he was registered as having attended this session

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