By Bulolo MP SAM BASIL
The Leadership Tribunal decision in the Hagoria case upheld the legal position that all electoral funds (in that case, the District Support Grant) should be paid into the district treasuries and NOT to any individual MPs.
DSG and the District Support Improvement Program (DSIP) funds are required under Section 95A of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local-Level Governments to be paid directly to the District Treasuries.
The prime minister was dishing out DSIP cheques to individual MPs after the ‘questionable’ election of the governor general in Parliament on Friday 25.06. 10. The PM’s action is in breach of the guidelines and the law governing the disbursements of these funds and sends a clear message of his blatant disregard for the laws of this land.
This is not the only instance of the PM demonstrating his arrogance and total disrespect of the law. The PM has openly defied the laws of this land time and time again. The recent open advertisement by the leader of the opposition, Sir Mekere Morauta raises serious questions about the integrity of the PM in relation to the illegal re-appointment of the GG. Section 187(5) of the Constitution is in no uncertain terms. The vote taken on Sir Paulias Matane was a qualification for eligibility to nominate as a candidate for the post of GG. It is not the election proper. There is nothing complicated about this, yet the PM is not willing to adhere to the law by taking a position that is legally correct to preserve the integrity of Parliament and of government in PNG.
Whether this is sheer arrogance or serious incompetency, the PM must be held accountable to the people of this nation.
The PM is also one of those leaders whose integrity has been brought into question by a leadership tribunal referral by the Ombudsman Commission for alleged misconduct in office. His misconduct relates to the failure to submit annual statements to the Ombudsman Commission as required under Section 4 of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership. This is a very serious misconduct because it shows a lack of interest to the fundamental principles of accountability. He is a prime minister who has demonstrated that he is above the law and will not be accountable to the 6.5 million people of this country, either legally through constitutional accountability mechanisms like the Leadership Code or personally by being indifferent and evasive to questions and calls by the people of this country for accountability.
His government is full of leaders who have been referred by the Ombudsman Commission for misconduct in office, whose cases are pending before the Courts, yet they continue to hold on to very key public offices and continue to carry on the business of this country with his blessings despite serious questions surrounding their personal and official integrity. Still overshadowed by serious questions of integrity and breaches of the Leadership Code, his government blatantly orchestrate amendments to the Leadership Code that clearly demonstrate their vehement desire to be free from accountability and have these bills pushed through Parliament without consultation with the people of this nation.
The amendment to the Ombudsman laws shows no intention of strengthening accountability and good governance; instead it reveals a clear will to water down the Leadership Code and to avoid the principles of ethical and moral responsibility that the Leadership Code seeks to instill and uphold for leaders.
The Petromin issue is also one that has been cleverly swept under the carpet with no accountability to the People of Papua New Guinea. The LNG was illegally moved to IPBC from Petromin and now interestingly to another company called Kroton No.2 Limited to avoid accountability by an independent Board.
The insanity continues with the bulldozing through of laws like the Environment Act in parliament, that totally disregards the basic rights of resource holders, stakeholders and the people of
The PM has time and again, demonstrated that he is not interested in nurturing a culture of open democratic government. He openly flouts the laws of this land and makes no apology for it. His actions must NOW be questioned. It is time he accepts responsibility for his negligent disregard for the law and relinquishes the leadership of this nation to a more honest and accountable leader that can uphold the law and respond to the needs of the People it represents. PNG needs a PM that is honest and transparent and accountable and one who serves the best interest of his people.
The people of PNG are not blind, deaf or mute. They are already talking and rising up. Its now up to individual MP’s to wake up from their slumber and be true to the election promises of accountability and good governance by making a change to this selfish and corrupt government.