BY NOU VADA
YESTERDAY I GOT A TWEET from PNG's most prolific anonymous blogger, a man named Tavurvur who runs the Garamut blog: "The Supreme Court passed its decision 3 - 0 in favour of Somare. Two judges abstained. Unheard of #PNG"
It was a bombshell no doubt. And one that will throw the political impasse into a new, unpredictable direction. But we'll try do some preliminary assessment.
So at approximately 7:30 last night, the Supreme Court in a 3-0 decision upheld the prime-ministership of Grand-Chief Michael Somare. They did so after Parliament dissolved itself on Tuesday 15 May and writs were issued on Friday 18th.
We have to mention the dates because the dates are important to highlight the next bit of information. Parliamentarians are both representatives of the people and makers of laws.
On Tuesday Parliament invoked s105(c) of the Constitution to dissolve Parliament. Parliament unanimously moved to dissolve itself. In PNG, the last law that Parliament makes, at the end of its tenure, is the law to dissolve itself.
This, it did on Tuesday. When it did this, Parliament placed the law-making powers of the people in suspended animation... this simply means the power is there, but it is not active.
On Friday the Governor-General issued 111 writs for the 111 seats of Parliament to be contested. By doing this, the suspension of the law-making powers of Parliament was affirmed, and further, the mandate of Parliamentarians to represent their people in the Tambaran Haus was taken back to the people.
So if Parliament meets, it will be illegal and those occupying the seats of the Legislative Chamber will not be protected by parliamentary privilege and will open themselves up to contempt of court and, when they are charged, will forfeit their chances of running for election. Shiit!
Another tweet from Tavurvur last night: "O'Neill-Namah faction has refused to recognise the SC ruling & have recalled Parliament for a special session 10am tomorrow! #PNG #pngpol".
So would a sitting of Parliament be lawful? I think not.
It is like in the film The Terminator II, the Terminator has to destroy himself after his mission is complete... Well, in the same gist, Parliament has to end itself at the end of its tenure. It did this on Tuesday, and the decision was consolidated on Friday.
Let us now look at the Supreme Court. What will the Supreme Court's decision ultimately mean for the future of the country... nothing really!
The only ones getting an adrenaline rush are those of us at law school who now have a lot of good stuff to write about in our final major research papers. But really nothing big is at stake....
Suppose today Team Somare, dressed as The Avengers, storm into Morauta Haus and Parliament, the only group of people who are gonna suffer are members of the O'Neill camp, and to some extent their stellar legal advisors.
The rest of us will go to the polls and in a few swift weeks the Somare faction forming the caretaker government will reduce themselves to a bare minimum as everyone will be lobbying and meeting at March Girls Resort trying to form coalitions to form the new government.
We will go to elections. Not even Somare can stop the elections... and if he does, I will gladly take to the streets again to remind them that it is my right to vote.
The truth is, it is business as usual for we, the 99% of Papua New Guineans who struggle daily but don’t complain too loudly about it. We want to vote...
As a wise man by the name of Poin Caspar once told me, MPs and nappies are full of the same thing.
My message to politicians of both factions is as stated in the Facebook Song: Yupla bungim ass na pekpek!
I want a free, fair and safe election.... and afterwards a hard push for reform.
Law student, blogger and writer Nou Vada describes himself as Chief Interpreter of Bullshit