On the 13th of November, the Vanimo-Green MP and Opposition Leader moved an adjournment motion to adjourn Parliament to the 1st of December.
While his motion was rebutted by Leader of Government Business and Finschhafen MP, Rainbo Paita, who said motions can only be moved by the Leader of Government Business, Deputy Speaker Koni Iguan ruled to entertain his motion after consulting with the Clerk of Parliament.
“Honourable Member and Leader for Government Business, under Standing Order section 151, it gives permission to any Member of Parliament to move a motion. Therefore I will rule to entertain the motion by the Opposition Leader,” said Iguan.
However, in today’s sitting, Speaker Job Pomat said the Chair’s ruling was incorrect, bringing to attention Section 2 of the Organic Law which states “In relation to any meeting of the Parliament…the time and date of the meeting shall be fixed by the Parliament on a motion without notice by a Minister”.
“I am conscious that the adjournment may be a clear breach of the Organic Law and thus amounting to a breach of a Constitutional Law,” said the Speaker.
“It is clear from the facts that honourable Belden Namah is not a Minister of State and therefore, under the provisions of the Organic Law, was not entitled to move an adjournment motion.
“Therefore in the best interest of Parliamentary procedure and to uphold the rule of law, my conscience dictates that I overrule that decision made by the Chair. Honourable Members, the result of my decision is that, the meeting of the Parliament, which commenced on Tuesday the 10th of November, 2020, is still in progress and it shall only be adjourned by a Minister on a motion without notice pursuant to Standing Orders and the Organic Law on the calling of Meetings of the Parliament.”
Today’s budget sitting commenced in the absence of Opposition MPs.