|Wednesday, 23 May 2012|
IN THE wake of the Supreme Court ruling on Monday which caught politicians off guard, Sir Michael Somare reportedly failed to be sworn in as prime minister yesterday.
According to the National, he turned up to Government House in a Mercedes Benz but did not get past the gates.
“Word was that the court orders had not been properly served on the governor-general and that the instruments for the swearing-in were not in order,” the newspaper reported this morning.
While another attempt by Somare is expected today, there could also be a special sitting of parliament on the cards.
A special sitting did not eventuate yesterday because many politicians were on the campaign trail elsewhere in the country.
Parliament typically does not sit so close to an election but PNG Institute of National Affairs director Paul Barker has not ruled it out.
“Under certain circumstances, and they're still MPs until the writs are returned, under certain circumstances presumably there is a capacity to recall parliament,” he told ABC Radio.
The Supreme Court has ruled for a second time that Somare is the legitimate PM. But the general consensus domestically and abroad is the election will finally decide which PM and which government is legitimate.
Yet the Supreme Court decision effectively makes the acts of parliament under the O’Neill-Namah government void – which includes the Judicial Conduct Act that could possibly give any judges it snares a significant jail term.
The timing of the decision also made it hard for politicians to react while it was close to polling dates. There are already considerable election-related security fears.
While the O’Neill-Namah government sought to delay the election by six months, in recent weeks it finally succumbed to domestic and international pressure to keep the existing timeframes.
Polling will start on June 23 and continue through to July 6. The election writs are due back on July 27.
There is uncertainty over whether Somare, who was PNG’s first PM, will contest the election or not.
Click here to read the rest of today's news stories.