Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk
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.
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Speaker Job Pomat said this meant Parliament was still in session and would continue this afternoon.
In a media conference, the Speaker 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 the Organic Law and parliament standing orders.
Pomat said that under section 2 of the Organic Law on the “calling of meetings of parliament”, only a minister could move a motion to have a Parliament sitting adjourned.
He said this week’s sitting would commence at 2pm today PNG time.
Mining minister ‘rejoins’ government
Mining Minister Johnson Tuke has left his People’s Progress Party led by Sir Julius Chan and rejoined the government, bringing the number of government MPs to 53, reports the Post-Courier’s Jeffrey Elapa.
The other member who rejoined the government is the Member for Sohe Henry Amule.
Prime Minister Marape said Tuke had never left his government and was not part of the Friday “stupidity”.
“He is a leader that subscribes to my ideology about take back PNG’S resources. He is a pure hardcore Melanesian chief and a resource owner himself. He is here to stay,” the Prime Minister said.
Contrary to what the #PNG Opposition thought when it rushed to Vanimo to plot the downfall of prime minister Marape & his government, parliament will resume today. It seems Namah & Co did not fully understand parliament’s standing orders when they suspended proceedings on Friday
— Keith Jackson AM (@PNGAttitude) November 16, 2020
#Breaking Speaker Job Pomat says the motion by Opposition leader Belden Namah to adjourn parliament is not right. Under…
He 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.
He said the government team had 37 MPs when the vote was taken on the motion, but the numbers had increased to 52 in a House of 111 members, minus the Bougainville Regional MP and Sir Mekere Morauta, who was sick but ready to fly back to Port Moresby.
Marape said the motion to adjourn Parliament to December 1 was normal Parliament business when the number swung their way and so the opposition leader did what he felt he had to do to take control of Parliament proceedings.
‘We’re not constitutional hooligans’
“And we accepted that as 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 very solid first term and second term and a few senior members among us. 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.
He said he knew “what was cooking”, but he did not want to send a bad signal to the 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 have 52 and more contacts being made with those that surprised us by leaving on the floor on Parliament, signaling that they want to return. I am surrounded by a body of leaders who are confident that we will stand together into 2022 and beyond,” he said.
The executive government was in place, Parliament conducted its business[yesterday] and that is Parliament business and now the executive government will run its course.
“I’m the Prime Minister sitting on the chair of the Prime Minister,” he said.