Monday, August 08, 2011

Bonga, Kaiwi seek orders to nullify election process


TWO separate Supreme Court references have been filed at the Waigani Supreme Court on last week's parliamentary election process and the change of government, The National reports.
The two urgent references were filed last Friday and are expected to be heard this morning by the chief justice. 
One reference is by Morobe province's Nawaeb MP Timothy Bonga and National Alliance party president Simon Kaiwi basing their case on section 18 of the Constitution. 
Bonga was the then NA-government's forestry minister and Kaiwi was ousted as NA party president. 
The respondents are listed as Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, his deputy Belden Namah, William Duma as the new minister for petroleum and energy and labour, Sam Basil as the national planning minister and Dr Allan Marat as the new justice minister and attorney-general. 
Bonga and Kaiwi are seeking certain declaratory orders to nullify the election process of the national parliament last Tuesday. 
They are arguing that there was no vacancy in the prime minister's office for such a vote to be called and that the vote should have been conducted on Wednesday. 
They argued that under section 142 of the Constitution, Sir Michael Somare was still the prime minister who was granted leave of absence on medical grounds under section 104 of the Constitution. 
The leave was granted in May this year.
The other reference was filed under section 19 of the Constitution by East Sepik Governor Peter Wararu and the East Sepik provincial executive government. 
It seeks a similar Supreme Court reference as Sir Arnold Amet did last week but was dismissed because he did not have any constitutional standing to file such an application. 
But the East Sepik provincial executive is now using the same grounds on the question on validity under the country's laws.
The East Sepik provincial executive government headed by Wararu resolved last Thursday to make this referral to the Supreme Court. 
Counsel for the applicant, Steels Lawyers, said the ESP executive has the legal standing to apply for such a reference.

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