Days of PNG lives

THERE are concerns Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s public promise that the election will run as scheduled midyear may be broken. summarises developments in PNG’s ongoing political soap opera.
Days of PNG lives Days of PNG lives Days of PNG lives Days of PNG lives Days of PNG lives

Speaker Jeffery Nape already said parliament would need to have another vote to rescind the six-month election deferral it controversially passed last week.

The enormous backlash on Tuesday forced O'Neill to promise a crowd of at least 5000 people the election would not be delayed.

But Nape has since informed Parliament he is seeking legal advice on who can call the election.

He also wants Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen to set new election dates due to the failures in completing electoral rolls.

Meanwhile, the struggle between Parliament and the judiciary continues.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court unsurprisingly stayed a Parliament decision to suspend Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and Justice Nicholas Kirriwom.

On Tuesday, O'Neill also promised he would remove the controversial Judicial Conduct Act if the two judges resigned - providing a hint of the motivation behind the rushed legislation.

Opposition leader Dame Carol Kidu previously raised the issue of there being two different versions of this act - the official one was passed by Parliament on March 30 while the other was dated April 3.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Nape accused Kidu of "contempt of Parliament" and warned she would be investigated for crimes which carried a hefty jail sentence.

Kidu was at a conference in Geelong yesterday and told the newspaper she was comfortable with being investigated.

"It's my job as a mandated member and opposition leader to expose improper practices," she reportedly said.

"He's telling me not to do my job."

Parliament is expected to continue sitting for the next few weeks - which will give the dominant O'Neill-Namah coalition plenty of opportunity to try and counter any possible judicial decisions around the myriad of constitutional cases before the Supreme Court.

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