Is the O'Neill government deferring the elections?

18/03/2012 17:58


By Cybele Druma @ The Truth As It Is - PNG

Some food for thought.  The O’Neill government could have already agreed for parliament to vote to suspend the constitution and defer the elections. First, we need to look at the actions they have taken so far and deduce their motives.

  • The suspension of the Chief Justice and the appointment of a Deputy Chief Justice | Motive: control outcome of the three-bench Supreme Court to rule in their favour?
  • Intimidate the East Sepik provincial executive | Motive: pressure them to retract the Supreme Court reference?
  • Question the integrity of the common roll and the competency of the national census and the Electoral Commission and introduce the idea of a biometric ID system | Motive: defer the general election?
  • Push parliament to defer the 2012 election by 12 Months| Motive: could it be “insurance” in case the pending Supreme Court proceedings results in the reinstatement of Sir Michael Somare? Consequently they can use parliament to have a vote of no confidence and use their parliamentary numbers to remove him (this is legal within 12 months of any election).

Do we believe that by using the media and Facebook to reflect the majority of Papua New Guineans’ overwhelming desire for the general elections not to be deferred is adequate? Who does the police commissioner submit to? The judiciary or the Peter O’Neill and the Belden Namah regime? And what of the military? This same police and military are and could be used to exert control over all concerned citizens having opposing views.

A police state is on the verge of becoming a reality in PNG! Not because O’Neill and Namah want to be dictators, but their desperate ploys to escape from the punishment of the law have inadvertently placed us on this path. Australia may have been stupid in treating us like the “unwanted adopted cousin” for many years but their intelligence gathering is spot on. They know fully well what the key players in this regime have been up to and what will be the climactic result of their actions.

Julia Gillard has already erred by foolishly endorsing an illegal government in PNG and has actively supported it through her government’s inaction. In a classic case of “better the devil you know, than the devil you think you know”, Gillard and her team have realized that this whole affair could explode on Australia’s watch and come to world’s attention if the elections are deferred. Consistent with Middle Eastern situations, Australia could have an unstable, unpredictable police state at their door step. This would speak very poorly of Australia as a regional power in the eyes of the global community. It would also be political dynamite in Australian federal politics if the Opposition and the Liberal Party put it to the Australian people that Australia under Labour had endorsed an illegal government in PNG and set it on a path to authoritarian rule. Julia Gillard would certainly lose the faith of her party, not to mention that of the Australian people. She could lose her job. Her party could lose government. So in the same way Namah has been given the dirty work to do for O’Neill, poor Bob Carr has been given the tough task to threaten PNG with sanctions from Australia and other members of the international community. Gillard’s silence on the matter speaks volumes.

Clear thinking Papua New Guineans must understand that Australia’s threat of sanctions (although I doubt they will work) may just be the only hope we have of preventing PNG from imploding. But the reality is this: sanctions are designed to appeal to the strong character within leaders in power. They are designed to make them think of the consequences on the general populace and their wellbeing, and hence succumb to this pressure by charting a different course.

In this instance the question is simple: For Namah and O’Neill, does their desire not to submit to the law outweigh their fear of bringing on suffering and endangering the wellbeing of the people of PNG? Sadly, the answer is NO. And that is one hell of a scary answer. Here are a few very important things that we must NOT allow to happen:

  • Electoral commissioner Andrew Trawen and his senior team must NOT be politically removed
  • The elections must NOT be deferred for any reason and
  • The 108 members of parliament must NOT vote to defer the elections and suspend the constitution in the next seating on Tuesday March 20, 2012.

Wake up and see the truth as it is! Against all odds, if we the good citizens of PNG are to keep what’s left of our democracy, we must do more than just write and speak about it. We must petition our local members of parliament that if they want to be voted back into office, they must vote at the next sitting of parliament against any motion to defer the June 2012 elections.