Somare: pro-O'Neill policemen contributing to demise of PNG democracy
The Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said the actions of Mr Belden Namah and other members of parliament in storming the court house last Thursday should not be taken lightly.
Sir Michael said: "As a senior member of parliament of 44 years, I am embarrassed and appalled by the lack of respect, principle and values of Mr Namah and his fellow members of parliament in storming the court house accompanied by members of the Royal PNG Constabulary.Officers of the Royal PNG Constabulary should not be taking direct orders from members of parliament. You are participating in the demise of our democracy and must separate yourselves from these rogue leaders immediately.
"There must be respect for our courts. Mere allegations by members of parliament with obvious motives in tarnishing the reputation of the Chief Justice should not be acted upon by the RPNGC. I call on members of the RPNGC to distance yourselves from these members of parliament who should by now be in their electorates campaigning to return to parliament and not driving a political agenda in Waigani.
"Incidentally, this is probably the first time anywhere in the Commonwealth that a purported Minister (not even responsible for Police) could take such action and call on the police to support him. This unprecedented behavior must not be allowed to continue.
"Constitutionally only the Ombudsman Commission has the duty and right to investigate any possible wrongdoing by the Chief Justice, not Messrs O'Neill, Namah or any other member of parliament. The Ombudsman Commission’s continued silence is also cause for real public concern as they are no longer perceived to be exercising their mandated responsibility to protect PNG against these clashes of authority.
"I repeat, as per my statement at the weekend, the sitting of parliament last week was illegal as a gazettal was issued without the approval of the Governor General. As a result the State of Emergency voted upon by parliament for the National Capital District and the Southern Highlands Province is of no effect and illegal".
M T SOMARE GCL GCMG CH CF KStJ