NOW we have entered the era of the tenth parliament with a new government elected, an important agenda item is the resolution of outstanding allegations of corruption leveled against MPs and ministers.
It would be a relief for the citizens of this country if politicians who lost their seats in this election but still have allegations against them were brought before the courts and held accountable.
Now that they are ordinary citizens without the protection of high office it would be good for our democracy and our justice system for them to face the law and be dealt with under the criminal code.
In that way a strong message can be sent out to current and future leaders that what you do as a leader will have to be accounted for once you are unseated.
Citizens of this country are already disenfranchised by the ‘separation of privileges’ whereby leaders are accorded special privileges while ordinary Papua New Guineans had to confront unfair treatment over crimes as trivial as stealing a bag of rice or a can of tin fish to satisfy no more than their hunger.
I think of the market vendors and street sellers keeping an eye out for rangers and police as they ward off the unbearable heat of the sun and shout out their wares just so they can put some food on the table.
In the last parliament, the nation witnessed an array of court cases filed regarding various matters of national importance: the drama of Task Force Sweep; the lethargic responses to the findings of commissions of Inquiry; the misappropriation and mismanagement of public funds.
These set the social media alight and prompted the public to demand answers from the government.
The public cry was and is that justice must be served within an acceptable timeframe.
However, protected by the leadership code, politicians aided by their lawyers run to the courts to file application after application just so their case and justice can be delayed.
And, as the old saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied.
Can this new government of Peter O’Neill change the ways of the past and act with propriety under the law.
Otherwise, the people of this country will always be denied their right to justice.