A date for a decision has been reserved and will be made known at a later time given the sensitivity of this case.
Taking the bench yesterday morning and sitting throughout the day were Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Deputy Chief Justice, Ambeng Kandakasi, Justice David Cannings, Justice Panuel Mogish and Justice Ere Kariko.
The applicant, Peter O’Neill, was represented by Young and Williams Lawyers through Ron Webb of the Queens Counsel.
Webb, in his submission, raised two concerns – the first being whether the first meeting of the eleventh parliament, was validly fixed and held on August 9 2022 in compliance with Section 124 of the Constitution and Section 1 (1) of the Organic Law on the Calling of Meetings of Parliament (OLCOMP).
His second concern was that Section 63 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) is inconsistent with the requirements of S50 of the Constitution and so should be declared invalid and consequently the election of the Prime Minister on August 9 2022 also be declared invalid. Section 50 of the constitution gives rise or authorizes Section 63 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.
Responses were received from the counsels of the Attorney General Pila Niningi, represented by Mel and Henry Lawyers through the engagement of a barrister from the Queens Counsel, and the five other interveners including the Registry of Political Parties and Electoral Commission.
At the conclusion of the submissions, Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, presiding over the case, adjourned the matter for a decision to be made at a later date.
“We will need some time to consider the submissions and will inform your counsels through our associates of the date fixed for the decision.
“This is an important matter concerning the country and we will work diligently to deliver a decision as soon as we can,” said the Chief Justice.
The decision of this case will determine the legality of the first meeting of the national parliament on August 9 after the 2022 National General Elections and the subsequent appointment of the Prime Minister.