It is now time for leaders who disregard and flout the Constitution to be sanctioned under Section 23.
I commend the decision of the Opposition to mount court action against the actions of the Speaker of our National Parliament.
Sadly, the conduct of proceedings of Parliament on 14 and 16 December 2020 has prompted another round of court action.
It must be explained that Section 23 is in our Constitution to punish those who are guilty of breaching the Constitution.
The Supreme Court in Don Polye’s case and the recent Reference by O’Neill have made clear statements on the law and procedures in relation to a notice of motion of no confidence against a PM.
The Supreme Court in both cases had expressly warned the Speaker of possible sanctions of a criminal nature under 23, Constitution.
If found guilty under Section 23, the Speaker faces a maximum jail term of 10 years or a fine of K10, 000.00, or both.
The Opposition court case against Speaker Pomat, under Section 23, is unprecedented, in that it is the first time for an application to be made under Section 23.
But the step taken by the Opposition is justified and timely in my respectful view.
Obeying the Constitution and laws begins at the top. The Legislature where laws are made must set the example.
It is regrettable and worrisome that leadership in our country has reached this all time low where the Judiciary is actively trying to get other arms of government and agencies to follow the law.
In this case the Judiciary is been sought to review and to sanction the actions and decisions of the head of Legislature, the first arm of our government.
Anyone who has followed the case law involving the Speaker of Parliament and his duties will see why the action taken by the Opposition is warranted.
For the rule of law is to prevail into the future it is important that we all follow our laws and respect Court Orders.
Enforcement under Section 23 now is a needed precedent for deterence.
A written decision serves as a guide all other holders of public office.
Deliberate breach and abrogation of the Constitution is a cardinal sin by a leader under our leadership Code.
I am sure the Ombudsman Commission is going to do something.
Flouting of Supreme Court Orders is contemptuous and is a serious crime. It cannot be tolerated in any way.
This is why the action taken by the Opposition is in the national interest and should be commended.
Our country at this time is suffering from “systemic and systematic” corruption and inefficiency, to borrow the words of our late former PM Morauta.
With weakened governance systems our government machinery has reached breaking point. We are losing respect for Government quickly.
In these circumstances disrespect and contempt for the rule of law must not be taken lightly.
At this festive season our people must not be mislead into thinking that all is well in Waigani.
The power play in politics that has just ended has brought to the surface disturbing trends.
Unconfirmed reports about the involvement of arms of government, public offices, use of government process and resources of the State in pushing the government’s political objective is troubling indeed.
I therefore support the court case filed by the Opposition against the Speaker of Parliament and look forward to the outcome with interest.