A PNG MP keeps the heat on the PM
The leader of Papua New Guinea's Triumph Heritage and Empowerment party says it is essential for the country's future that government abides by the laws.
The leader of Papua New Guinea's Triumph Heritage and Empowerment party says it is essential for the country's future that government abides by the laws. After starting out the parliamentary term as a key player in the government, Don Polye has found himself on the outer following his sacking as Treasurer by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill earlier this year. However he continues to criticise Prime Minister Peter O'Neill over various executive decisions such as taking out a controversial 1.1 billion US dollar loan without consulting parliament.
DON POLYE: So therefore if a Prime Minister or one individual or a team of people make a decision devoid of the provisions of the constitutions, the parliamentary requirements, I say that is a very bad precedent and is dangerous for parliament and democracy. It also leads to abuse and misappropriation of public monies.
JOHNNY BLADES: Sounds like parliament's being sidelined a bit. Is that what you think is happening with this government?
DP: I think that the parliament has not been consulted. It has not gone through the process that is stipulated under the constitution. So I could say the parliament has been sidelined and the executive government took a decision and mainly the decision was made or taken by the Prime Minister on behalf of the parliament, which is not allowed under our constitution.
JB: What's happening with the THE Party?
DP: John, it's intact. We've got fourteen members and all of them are intact. You probably would have read that five of them have moved across to the People's National Congress side. In fact, that's practically what you've heard, politically. But really, legally, under the OLIPAC (the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates) and the THE Party constitution, all these members are still intact with the Triumph Heritage and Empowerment Party. So by law they're still members of my party but politically, they've chosen to sit where the PNC party of the Prime Minister is sitting.
JB: What's the long-term plan for you, do you have one?
DP: I've got a long-term plan. At the moment I'd like to call on every institution and authorities to do their job, the people of PNG to stand up for what is right. Papua New Guineans should be more vigilant to see between what is right and what is wrong, to see between policies that are meant to serve them and the policies that are not meant to serve them but to serve only a few interests. What I'm saying is the people of this country, most of them are illiterate, but they're not stupid. They are seeing what is happening and I think sooner or later, the people will... they've spoken out already... the people will make their own observations. I'm seeing the systems of government also working; for instance the judiciary in PNG is very strong. Even under very stressful situations, the judiciary has made very sound decisions, fair decisions without fear or favour for justice and that's what really encourages me.
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