The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea has thrown out a new law governing political parties, saying it unconstitutionally limited the rights of MPs and their freedom of choice.
The law could have stopped politicians from voting to remove a bad prime minister.
The Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates would have stopped members from voting against a party resolution.
They could not vote to remove a bad prime minister through a no-confidence vote if their party had earlier supported the prime minister.
The law ruled MPs would be liable for prosecution if they voted against any party resolution.
PNG’s Western province governor Bob Danaya argued it restricted individual MPs’ rights and freedom of choice and challenged it in court.
A full Supreme Court bench of five judges, in a unanimous decision, ruled that provision of the law is unconstitutional.
It ruled it prohibits MPs from exercising their rights and was unheard of in a democracy.
A lawyer for Governor Bob Danaya, Loani Henao, said members’ rights have now been restored.
He says MPs who were intimidated and coerced to remain with a party and support bad government policies can now move freely.