Court: Recall parliament within 5 days

The Supreme Court today ordered the speaker to recall parliament within 5 days, including today, to have the motion of no-confidence introduced, debate and voted on as a matter of national importance and urgency.

An order was also made to the clerk of parliament to place the notice of motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister as the first item of business of parliament on the first day of sitting.

In a unanimous decision, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika and Justice Collin Makail granted a declaration that the motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister complied with technical requirements of section 145 of the Constitution and Standing Orders 22 and 130.

The court declared that the actions of Acting Speaker of Parliament and Chairman of the Committee on Private Business, Aide Ganasi;

  • In failing to convene a meeting of the Parliamentary committee on private business,
  • In failing to inform parliament of the pending motions of no-confidence in the Prime Minister and,
  • In failing to conduct the meeting of the Parliament on June 8, to facilitate the introduction of the motion of no-confidence, thereby preventing debate by parliament on the motion lodged on June 7, are unconstitutional and invalid.

It was done contrary to sections 111, 115, 141, 142(5)(a)  and 145 of the Constitution.

The court found that the actions of the speaker denied the rights of members of parliament to introduce the motion, debate and vote contrary to section 111 and 115, thus is also unconstitutional and invalid.

National Parliament will pay the cost of the application as respondents in the proceeding are in court in their capacity as the National Parliament Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the acting Clerk of Parliament.

A press conference is expected to be called by the Opposition later today.

Sally Pokiton