THE SACKING OF PNGSDP CHAIRMAN, Sir Mekere Morauta, is but just one of a number of decisions where the government, using its parliament majority and legislative privileges, has warded off opposition.
While the government claims its action is to protect the interests of the people or stabilise the operations of government, the manner and motive surrounding such decisions cannot go unquestioned.
In 2012, when the Supreme Court ruled against the O'Neill-Namah government, the Judicial Conduct Act was immediately passed.
The Act can be interpreted as one that elevates the Legislature above the Judiciary, giving the former powers to discipline the latter, disregarding its constitutional equality (click this link for a detailed explanation).
Furthermore, the Act nullified the Supreme Court decision that reinstated Sir Michael Somare as the legitimate prime minister, allowing the then O'Neill-Namah government to remain in power.
Governor General Sir Michael Ogio, honouring the Supreme Court decision, swore in the Somare-Abel government, only to be told by parliament that he has been suspended.
The agenda: remove the Governor General and replace him with someone who would regard the O'Neill-Namah government as legitimate. In this case, Speaker Jeffery Nape replaced the GG and swore in O'Neill as PM.
Parliament then amended the Prime Minister and NEC Act, which set an age limit for any serving Prime Minister at 73. Since Sir Michael was 76, this effectively meant that he could no longer become prime minister.
The agenda: prevent Sir. Michael, a huge threat to the O'Neill government, from becoming prime minister.
Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen, when adamant that writs be issued on time (which the O'Neill-Namah government didn't like), faced a threat of being suspended. His appointment was investigated and his retirement age was questioned.
The agenda: since Trawen was not supportive of the governments decisions, find a reason to suspend him to remove the obstacle.
In all these government decisions, a common factor stands out: parliament (especially Cabinet) used its powers and numbers to ward off any impasse such that their agenda was favoured.
This became more clear as the amendments were repealed late last year. In tabling the repeal, Attorney-General Kerenga Kua said the Judicial Conduct Act and the Supreme Court Act of 2012 had outlived their use. So were these Acts used just to ensure that O'Neill stayed in power?
O'Neill says that his coalition government repealed these controversial laws to correct the wrongs of the recent past. So these laws were wrong, and O'Neill sanctioned them any way?
I see a government that can use its majority parliamentary numbers and its legislative powers to clear away opposition to its course or agenda: a government that passes Acts overnight to nullify court decisions, one that suspends anyone who is not in the boat with them, one that wards off opposition to its decisions using sheer power rather than a roundtable discussion.
Well, the people have spoken . But the voice doesn't sound like the people's voice.