Decision on vote of no-confidence next week

The three-man Supreme Court bench yesterday reserved its ruling on the Opposition’s application challenging the conduct of parliament to next Tuesday after it heard arguments from parties in court.

Submissions were made by parties in court yesterday on the Opposition application challenging the conduct of parliament when it adjourned to August 2 without considering the Vote of no-confidence motion after it was filed on the speaker’s office on June 7.

Opposition Leader Don Polye’s lawyer Marshall Cook told the court the motion for no confidence vote against the Prime Minister that was filed on June 7 was signed by more than 11 MPs.

At 10:25 am, the motion was sent to the speaker’s office after it was filed on June 7. On June 8, a motion without notice was sought to be moved by Leader of Government Business, James Marape. Leave was granted and Marape moved to adjourn Parliament to August 2. That motion was moved by acting speaker, Aide Ganasi when he put the question on the house and was passed on voice.

 At 11:55am, Parliament was adjourned to August 2.

Cook told the court yesterday that parliament should have given priority to the motion of no confidence filed the other day.

Cook went on to say the reason for the adjournment was attributed to the ‘situation at the university’ that took place on the morning of June 8 to allow the situation to return to normal and not because parliament was scheduled to sit until June 8 in the June sitting.

However lawyer representing Parliament Speaker Theo Zurenuoc, Deputy Speaker Aide Ganasi, Deputy clerk of parliament Kala Aufa, and Attorney General Ano Pala , John Griffin submitted to court through Ganasi’s affidavit that parliament was adjourned due to the issues of that day and that fact that Jufa was sighted at Uni on the morning on June 8 after the confrontation.  

Griffin said the Parliamentary Business Committee sits each Wednesday during meetings of Parliament to examine all notices of motion submitted to the Committee under Standing Orders par 130, and to determine whether the terms of the motion are of a parochial nature or of a matter of national importance.

On determining that a notice is of national importance, they deliver a copy of the notice to the Clerk for reporting to the Parliament.

He told court that had Polye filed the notice of motion and put it in on June 1, the committee would have seven days to deliberate on the motion on June 8.

He added it was incumbent on Polye as the Leader of Opposition to comply with the Standing Orders of Parliament and section 145 of the Constitution.

Cook went on to emphasis that the notice of motion was given a day before Parliament was to adjourn and should have filed and served on speakers office on May 31.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika and Justice Collin Makail adjourned the matter to July 13.

Sally Pokiton