Court adjourns PM’s stay application

A three-man Supreme Court Bench this morning adjourned Prime Minister Peter O’Neill's urgent stay application, which will be heard later this week.

The Court said there was no urgency for the court to hear the stay application today.

The Prime Minister is seeking to stay the process of the Private Business Committee, in the event another motion of Vote of No Confidence is filed by the Opposition.

The Opposition's Vote of No Confidence motion against the Prime Minister filed on 7 May 2019 was withdrawn on 20 May.

Tiffany Twivey, who acts for the Prime Minister, told the court that the VoNC notice that was withdrawn was not signed by the other members of the Opposition who supported it, apart from Patrick Pruaitch (the mover of the motion) and Sir Puka Temu (who seconded it) thus it was not properly withdrawn and “still on foot”.

She argued there is urgency in the stay application to be heard today, adding if another VoNC motion is filed, it would be “an abuse of process”.

They were however, unable to show facts in the urgency of the application in court through an affidavit apart from the assertion another VoNC motion may be filed.

Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, who chaired the three-man bench, said there was no urgency of the stay application being heard today, adjourning it to Friday, 9:30am. This also gives time to other interested parties; James Marape, Kerenga Kua and the Speaker, to file their responses and respective applications in court.

One of the main questions in this latest Supreme Court proceeding filed by the Prime Minister is whether two notice of motion for Vote of No Confidence can be given at one time to the Private Business Committee, who screens all private motions and then puts it on notice paper to become a business of the day in parliament.

(Tiffany Twivey, right, who acts for the Prime Minister)

Sally Pokiton