Another court challenge

A SUPREME Court challenge by the East Sepik provincial executive could potentially unseat the O’Neill government, with ex-public enterprises minister Arthur Somare reportedly warning the “interim regime” to refrain from making major decisions.
Another court challenge Another court challenge Another court challenge Another court challenge Another court challenge

Unsurprisingly, the filing of the Supreme Court reference is on the basis that the recent parliament vote for Peter O'Neill as prime minister was unconstitutional, as this office is occupied by Sir Michael Somare who still remains on medical leave.

"We will conduct an audit on what transpired in the event the Supreme Court determines that Sir Michael Somare remains the lawful holder of this high office," his son Arthur reportedly said in a statement, according to The National.

"We will take note especially of instructions and directions given by current ministers. I call on every public servant to take note and to keep careful records."

He also reportedly said parliament had been adjourned to avoid the risk that the constitutionality of any legislation introduced could be questioned.

Under a favourable Supreme Court decision for the old National Alliance party faithful, it is possible that all government decisions made since the parliament vote for O'Neill as prime minister in August 2 could be set aside.

However, a previous Supreme Court challenge on similar grounds by ousted Attorney-General Sir Arnold Amet failed last week.

Timothy Benga is launching his own court challenge after losing the forestry ministerial portfolio to former Opposition Leader Belden Namah, who was also appointed deputy prime minister.

He will also argue that the position of prime minister was not vacant when the parliament vote on August 2 was made.

In a separate report, O'Neill recently replaced the key bureaucrats of chief secretary Margaret Elias, finance secretary Gabriel Yer and acting Southern Highlands provincial administrator Lawrence Olkoben, according to The National.

The new government is touting a new war on corruption.

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