Sunday, 4 June 2017

One of the noisiest parliaments in the history of Papua New Guinea - An account of 03rd June, 2016 session


Parliament got rowdy today (03 June, 2016) during debate time with shoutings and a woman removed by parliament guards from the public gallery for unruly behaviour.

The situation got rowdy when the Opposition Leader Don Polye cleared the air on what he says were allegation ladled against them from some government members of backing and influencing the university students’ protest against the prime minister.

The deputy speaker called for order in the house and almost suspended parliament for the day after shouts and angry words were exchange between the members of the government and the opposition. The situation was made worse when the public shouted down from the public gallery to the parliament chamber.

The deputy speaker cautioned the public for their behaviour and then brought the house to order to complete the rest of today’s session.

The democratic process of electing or removing a Prime Minister must not be hijacked by the public for it will spell disaster for the country.

These are the words from mining and petroleum minister, Hon. Ben Micah when talking about the current situation in the country where students and civil society groups moving to have the prime minister step down from office and answer to allegations against him.

Minister Micah lashed out at the Opposition Leader Don Polye who was clearing the air on allegations against the Opposition for supporting the students, and warns him that the type of situation where the people are interfering with this democratic process is extremely dangerous.

The Petroleum and Energy Minister made it clear during debate time in parliament today that only the parliament has the power to elect or remove a prime minister.

Minister Ben Micah, who was arguing with the opposition leader on the situation with the university strikes against the prime minister, says only mandated members of parliament got the power to make the choice on the floor of parliament.

He says if members want a PM removed then a vote of no confidence is the democratic process to do so and not the strong influence from the public. Micah was referring to the students protest and the public debates on social media.

Meanwhile, Micah called on the students and the public to respect the process or democracy and the constitution of PNG.

The Opposition Leader in parliament today dismissed allegation that they were influencing and supporting the current university students’ protest against the PM.

Hon. Don Polye says such allegations, is an insult to the intellect of the university students because it tells them that they are incapable of understanding the country’s economic situation. He adds that students are future leaders and intellectuals who can make their stand if they see the country not being run the way it should be and don’t need to be told about it by any politician.

The opposition leader says the issues the students are protesting against are of national importance that will affect every individual in the country, not just for a group of politicians.

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