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OPPOSITION TO STAND BY THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

Staff Reporter 2/03/2013 | |
PNG Oppostion MPs


PRESS STATEMENT 

Opposition Leader

Hon. Belden Norman Namah



The 15 Members of the Opposition are solid and steadfast in our resolve to protect the peoples’ constitution from being attacked and undermined for personal and or political convenience. Every Papua New Guinean must be careful to see and understand what the essence of the Opposition argument is on the issue of the proposed 30 month grace period. 

We are saying that the constitution is not an ordinary or simple document. 

It is the document that embodies the state-hood and independence of our Nation. 


It is the document that embodies the will of the people of Papua New Guinea to be united as one people and one nation. It is the document that embodies the power, authority and the will of the people. It is the document that embodies the rights and freedom, and obligations of the people. And indeed, it is the document that creates the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.

We are saying that the Constitution establishes our existence as a Nation and dictates our destiny as a Nation. We are saying that our National Constitution is not a document to be tossed around for personal glory or to satisfy personal and or political ego. We are saying that our Constitution is a very sacred document, worthy of the utmost respect. 
Our Constitution creates rules for us to follow. Just like God made rules for mankind to follow for the good men, women and children. Likewise, the constitution contains rules and directives to be followed by the people, entities, and the Government through the three arms, for the good of people of Papua New Guinea.

One of the most basic rules is, that anything that the Executive Government or the Parliament does must be within the confines of the Constitution and done for the best interest of our people and country. This rule is reinforced by section 11 of the Constitution itself. It states that “THIS CONSTITUTION AND THE ORGANIC LAWS ARE THE SUPREME LAW OF OUR COUNTRY. AND ANY ACT, WHETHER IT BE LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE OR JUDICIAL THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THEM ARE TO THE EXTENT INCONSISTENT, INVALID AND INEFFECTIVE”.

The Opposition believes that the proposed 30 months grace period is not in the best interest of Papua New Guinea. It goes against the spirit and intent of the Constitution, in that it restricts or removes the Parliament’s function of keeping the Executive Government accountable to the Parliament. 

The Parliament would be doing something that is not normally done in Parliamentary Democracies, and that is to limit or suppress its powers of keeping the executive government accountable. The Members of Parliament would be failing in their constitutional duty to the people through the constitution to keep themselves free from influences in the discharge of their legislative functions. They would be compromising their inherent powers by caving in to the Executive Government’s pressure and influence. 

Again, we the Opposition urge our colleagues in the Government to realize that it is not in the best interest of Papua New Guinea to support this Bill. Any MP that supports a 30 moth grace period, in effect, is passing a vote of no confidence in the Constitution

We would like to announce that we have instructed our Lawyers to file a Supreme Court Reference to test the constitutionality of the Bill.

Authorized by: 

Hon. Belden Norman Namah, MP

Leader of the Opposition

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