BY SAM BASIL
THE SPEAKER of the national parliament, Hon Jeffery Nape, has eroded the spirit of PNG’s democracy for three consecutive years and continues to do.
When becoming a member of this eighth parliament, I was given a copy of the constitution (edited version, July 2007) and started browsing through the Speaker’s role and responsibilities.
The constitution states clearly in Section 108(1) that, the Speaker is responsible for upholding the dignity of the Parliament, maintaining order in it, regulating its proceedings and administering its affairs.
Jeffery Nape’s decisions and actions on the floor of parliament have clearly shown that his conduct is not in accordance with the constitution or the standing orders of parliament. Simply there is no democratic process in the proceedings of parliament.
In the last sitting of parliament the Speaker…
(a) failed to entertain the motion of no confidence notice which was officially handed to his office at 0930 on 21 July;
(b) failed to entertain the nay call by the opposition which was followed by a call for a division seconded against the leader of government business who proposed that the parliament at its rising be adjourned until 16 November;
Surprisingly the clerk of parliament, Mr Don Pandan, excluded the division calls from the Hansard distributed a week after the session. The national parliament clerk has also failed his constitutional duties to properly advise the Speaker to act in accordance with the constitutional laws, the acts of parliament and the standing orders of the parliament.
Mr Pandan must be referred to the Ombudsman Commission.
We have heard that during intense lobbying two very influential government MPs spent three hours with the Speaker. The Speaker’s undemocratic rulings on the floor raises many questions regarding the integrity of the chair.
Is the Speaker above the law? Why haven’t the relevant authorities stepped in to address all the corruption claims against the Speaker including his undemocratic conduct on the chair?
Last week’s denial of the opposition’s rights to call for a division has seen the Speaker’s office denying the rights of almost three million people that those 45 members of parliament represent in opposition.
Maybe it is time now for ordinary people to directly vote a Speaker into office who can be independent from political influence.
There is no hope for us elected MPs to exercise our rights and freedom on behalf of our people.
Source: Press release by Hon Sam Basil MP, 1 August 2010