YOU MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT Belden Namah had enough on his plate trying to cobble together a viable representation in parliament, but now he’s decided to prosecute a war of words against Ian Kemish, Australia’s high commissioner in Papua New Guinea.
Today he stated that the popular diplomat should be recalled. The trigger? Yesterday the high commissioner attended a ceremony where the governor-general invited Peter O'Neill to form the next government.
According to Namah, Kemish violated PNG's sovereignty by attending the event.
"Kemish's presence is a breach of protocol," Namah said. "I call on the Australian foreign minister to apologise and to discipline the high commissioner.
"He should be recalled immediately, because he interfered with PNG's sovereignty by deliberately trying to influence the election and the process of parliament electing the prime minister."
The Australian High Commission said the attendance of Kemish and his deputy, Margaret Adamson, followed assurances from government house and the PNG electoral commission.
Mr Namah's supporters launched legal action today to stop parliament sitting tomorrow morning, when it is expected Mr O'Neill will be elected prime minister by about 75 of the 106 MPs whose seats have been decided so far.
The other five MPs won't be able to participate because the count is not concluded in their electorates.
Lawyers for Namah's party deputy, Sam Basil, say that's reason enough to stop the session.
A judgment is expected at 8.30 in the morning.