PACIFIC MEDIA CENTRE NEWSDESK
| FM100 | PNG Post-Courier | Edited
AUCKLAND - Prime Minister James Marape says his executive is still in control for the next three weeks for doing state business, passing the budget and to serve the people of Papua New Guinea.
In spite of the defection by rebel members of his majority last Friday and a vote to suspend parliament until next month, Speaker Job Pomat says the motion by opposition leader Belden Namah is “not right”, reports FM100 News.
Under the organic law and parliamentary standing orders, only a minister can adjourn parliament.
Speaker Job Pomat said this meant Parliament was still in session and will continue this afternoon.
Pomat said that, after careful consideration and research, he had found the motion moved by opposition leader Belden Namah on Friday to adjourn parliament to December, to be in breach of organic law and parliament’s standing orders.
Pomat said that under section 2 of the organic law on the “calling of meetings of parliament”, only a minister can move a motion to have a parliament sitting adjourned.
He said this week’s sitting would commence at 2pm today PNG time.
Mining minister Johnson Tuke has left his People’s Progress Party and rejoined the government, as had the member for Sohe Henry Amule, reports the Post-Courier’s Jeffrey Elapa.
Marape said the government team had 37 MPs when the vote was taken on Friday but, in a parliament of 111 members, the numbers had now increased to 52 minus the Bougainville Regional MP and Sir Mekere Morauta, who was sick but ready to fly back to Port Moresby.
Given this calculation is correct, the Marape government requires two more MPs to survive the vote of no confidence that has been threatened by opposition leader Beldan Namah.
Marape said Tuke was not part of the Friday “stupidity”.
“He is a leader that subscribes to my ideology about take back PNG’S resources,” the prime minister said.
“He is a pure hardcore Melanesian chief and a resource owner himself. He is here to stay.”
Marape said the executive government would still be in control for the next three weeks for doing government business, passing the budget and getting the government work moving to “serve our people”.
He said the events that unfolded on Friday in parliament separated the good from the bad in his government, as he put the interest of the nation ahead with the passage of the anti-corruption (ICAC) bill on Thursday and the passage of several resource laws.
“We are not constitutional hooligans, we are not constitutional plunderers and we are not constitutional rapists,” Marape said.
“I’m happy that I’m surrounded by a group of leaders who want to do the right thing for the country.
“The reason why we changed government in 2019 was to move away from a status quo that was rife with corruption, a status quo that was subscribing to corporate interest, multinational interest and for the interest of a greedy few, and we made a change,” he said.
Marape said he knew “what was cooking”, but he did not want to send a bad signal to members of parliament.
“For me, as a prime minister that [has] managed a huge number that was close to 90 members of parliament was a big task, not knowing who was among us.
“I am surrounded by a body of leaders who are confident that we will stand together into 2022 and beyond.
“I’m the prime minister sitting on the chair of the prime minister,” he said.