IT’S VERY SAD TO SEE that Papua New Guineans, especially university students, NGOs and unions who have opposed the controversial Judiciary Conduct Bill 2012, have bumped into brick walls.
Despite opposition from all sectors, Speaker Jeffery Nape has finally certified the Act. It will now give Parliament the ability to suspend senior Supreme Court judges, officers who are perceived to be biassed. The Bill directly undermines the basis of the separation of powers between the three (3) arms as enshrined in our constitution.
This is ridiculous and utter nonsense. Our elected MPs using parliamentary privilege and numbers to attack our judiciary which holds more than 800 different tribal societies together.
I salute Enga Governor Peter Ipatas, Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru, Ramu MP Ben Semeri, Opposition Leader Dame Carol Kidu and her deputy Sam Abal and two others for voting against the bill (63-7).
Where were the rest of the 109 MPs? Why do elected MPs absent themselves in the Parliament when such laws are made, repealed, amended or altered or serious agendas are discussed?
Prime minister O’Neill, in his response to public through radio, press media releases and TV, said the Act will not be implemented as it will go through a nine months review. However, he lied to the seven million people of PNG when he put into effect in the parliament on Thursday.
The O’Neill-Namah regime has now used the law to discipline the two senior judges for going against its regime. This is a major threat to the judiciary.
This is unheard of in a democracy. The government has now suspended two senior PNG judges who last December ruled (3-2) that the O’Neill-Namah government was formed in breach of the Constitution.
On Thursday, they used the law to pass a motion in parliament to refer Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and Justice Nicholas Kirriwom to the governor-general.
The democratic state of PNG has been brought into an executive dictatorship where everything will be controlled by the government of the day. The judiciary will no longer be effective as it used to be.