Stunned parliament finds that Namah may be PM
29 May 2012
BY KEITH JACKSON
Sources: Liam Fox/ABC and Tavurvur [Twitter]
THIS MORNING’S SITTING OF THE PNG parliament took a peculiar twist when both prime minister Peter O’Neill and contender Sir Michael Somare were declared not to be duly elected leaders of Papua New Guinea.
Parliament accepted yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling and reinstated Somare as prime minister before disqualifying him on the grounds that he had missed three sittings of parliament since January.
With Speaker Jeffrey Nape acting as Governor-General, Deputy Speaker Francis Marus then declared the prime minister’s office vacant and announced that a new PM will be elected tomorrow, forcing O’Neill aside.
This means that deputy prime minister Belden Namah may become acting prime minister, at least for the next 24 hours.
Liam Fox reports that O'Neill has accepted Marus' ruling, but has the numbers to be elected PM.
Somare is in Wewak. There are no MPs in Parliament for the 10 o'clock sitting, even though it's past 10 o'clock.
Fox: "To my knowledge no PNG Parliament has ever convened on time."
The Brecht/Weill Opera should now become a musical comedy.
Thinking of a song called "Somare - lon lon lon lon!" to the tune of "Domani" which contains the line "you are super duper bravissimo".
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 30 May 2012 at 10:13 AM
Well, all I can say is that this can only happen in the "Land of the Unexpected"!
Posted by: John Wali | 30 May 2012 at 12:44 AM
Frank - I think Rafferty's rule prevails here - they are just making it up as they go along.
There is an old saying which I cannot remember completely which goes along the lines of "chaos reigns and ???"
Maybe the GG has gone to old Blighty to tell her majesty what's going on and seek her wise advice?
Would that be 'chaos reigns and panic numbs' - KJ
Posted by: Harry Topham | 29 May 2012 at 08:26 PM
The question is Peter, will Namah let him back in?
Posted by: Phil Fitzpatrick | 29 May 2012 at 05:52 PM
I thought that in preparation for the election the Governor General had issued the writs, declared all positions vacant and closed parliament.
Therefore the Supreme Court could not declare anyone to be prime minister or could the Parliament take any action.
Posted by: Frank Martin | 29 May 2012 at 05:17 PM
Well I dunno. Martyn's only been out of the country for 10 days and all hell breaks loose.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 29 May 2012 at 02:08 PM
What in God's name next? Why, given the political turmoil now happening in PNG, does the GG fly off for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?
Surely the PNG High Commissioner could be the PNG representative and it would save money.
This is really becoming a circus. The chairs of the Titanic could not have been re-arranged fast enough for who sits where as the ship sinks below the waters in the Atlantic.
Incredible, just so bizarre.
Posted by: Colin Huggins | 29 May 2012 at 01:35 PM