Basil: Issue of Writs deferral must be questioned

The Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, is warning all citizens to be vigilant in updating themselves with relevant information regarding their voting rights and privileges.

He also reminded citizens that speculation about the role of the National Executive Council (NEC) in determining changes to laws regarding elections are limited to suggestions or recommendations to Parliament. On advice from NEC, Parliament then assesses the bills on their merits before voting for or against.

Basil is strongly urging Papua New Guineans to get involved and understand the importance of parliamentary processes.

He says: “Parliament is the arm of government that enacts the laws that we the people must live with, therefore we must all ensure that all MPs are voting to support laws for the greater good.”

Basil told reporters that the majority of government MPs have been given “sweeteners” to vote for the passage of bills that they don’t understand or care about. Those government MPs are only interested in their own cut of already depleted public funds and not the broader implications of the laws they vote to enact and amend.

“I want to say that the rampant abuse and mismanagement of public funds by the O’Neill/Dion Government has had the effect of bankrupting PNG,” claims Basil.

“Therefore, we can see the impact of this shameful negligence now on our constitutional offices, government departments and agencies that are failing to carry out their lawful duties.

“The main problem is, the government has recklessly spent public funds that should have been managed and allocated to cater for the State’s operations and expenses. Instead, the O’Neill regime has paid for their own excessive lifestyles first before worrying about the development and future of our great nation.”

Basil told a press conference in Port Moresby that only Parliament has the authority to change existing laws governing national elections. Last week’s announcement of the deferral of a major constitutional event, such as the Issue of Writs, is alarming and illegal.

“The occasion of a political election is a key event within all democratic nations that cannot be interrupted or manipulated to suit a single political agenda,” says the Deputy Opposition Leader.

“The announcement by the PNG Electoral Commissioner to defer the Issue of Writs must be questioned by all Papua New Guineans who risk losing the integrity of their right to vote according to clear statutory and constitutional provisions that dictate the electoral calendar in PNG.”  

(Loop file pic)

Press release