In what seemed like the most frantic evening I’ve ever experienced on a computer, it was crazy. We had a host of shinanigans at the gates of the newly weds and it appeared that the Governor General and his wife may not have been in the mood to entertain such rude guests at that hour, (and during their honeymoon no doubt).
So I started a post on Sharp Talk about the Somare groups festivities beginning at the Ela Beach hotel to celebrate the court decision going in their favour. This was in the afternoon sometime. Then the race was on as Grand Chief and O’Neill went racing down to Government House to get the Governor General’s blessings. After gun shots were reported then things went crazy, we had reporters saying O’Neill had just been sworn in and on the other hand we had people saying Somare was inside but had locked out O’Neill.
So for two hours frantic comments were piling up in Sharp Talk and Twitter about who was doing what to who. Finally Liam Fox from ABC gave the news on twitter that: “A frail looking Somare says he’s fit as a 40 year old and up to the job of being PM. Says he’ll go to govt house tmrw to be sworn in. The Somare camp says it can rule with a minor govt but they’re confident they’ll boost their numbers when Sir Michael’s sworn in as PM. And things have calmed down outside govt house. Only a handful of armed police now.”
EMTV televised a late press conference by Somare’s group. Amet spoke on behalf of them and stated that because the Grand Chief was legally the Prime Minister when he was illegally removed, the court decision by making the actions of the Speaker illegal, automatically meant he was Prime Minister again. He also added that the attempts to further maintain the illegal actions of the speaker were blatant acts of contempt of court and that those offenders would duly be prosecuted.
From sources on facebook, Somare’s has also been quick to announce its interim cabinet:
- Sam Abal (Deputy PM & Immigration),
- Patrick Pruaich (Treasury, Finance & State Owned Enterprises),
- Sir Arnold Amet (Attorney-General & Public Service),
- Sasa Zibe (Health & Inter-Government Relations),
- Timothy Bonga (Forestry & Internal Security),
- James Marape (Education, National Planning & Rural Development),
- Benjamin Poponawa (Transport and Civil Aviation),
- Philip Kikala (Agriculture and Livestock),
- Paru Ahi (Higher Education, Research Secience and Technology & Foreign Affairs and Trade),
- Fidelis Semos (Bougainville Affairs),
- Partick Tammur (Communication and Information),
- Francis Potape (Petroleum and Energy),
- Ben Semri (Fisheries & Commerce and Industry),
- Tony Aimo (Correctional Services & Lands and Physical Planning),
- Andrew Kumbakor (Housing and Urban Development),
- Philemon Embel (Sports & Minister Assisting the PM),
- Bob Dadae (Defence),
- Sani Rambi (Labour and Industrial Relations),
- Dame Carol Kidu (Community Development),
- John Pundari (Mining), and
- Anderson Agiru (Works & Conservation and Environment).
So the question remains today, will the Governor General still want to entertain Grand Chief today? Will Grand Chief have the numbers to carry on through to the Elections?
A possible scenario painted by lawyer John Leahy follows that.. “assuming Sir Michael has been sworn in, he should immediately put a motion to the Parliament which he declares to be on a question of confidence. If he wins, so be it, if he loses then that triggers a general election. Refer Section 105(1)(b)(ii) of the Constitution. It is time for the people to have their say. Alternatively, again assuming Sir Michael has been sworn in, then any motion put by the O’Neill side could be declared by GC as PM to be on a question of confidence, with the same result, a general election and an end to the impasse, the constitution upheld and democratic processes respected and reinforced. If Sir Michael refuses to trigger an election this way, then the O’Neill side should give the requisite notice of a vote of no-confidence, which if successful would also trigger an election. A “minority government” is untenable in a PNG context.”
There is another option as well though that some would like to see taken and especially if the Governor General wants his honeymoon back. He should just dissolve Parliament and send both sides back to the polls for elections. Dissolving Parliament has been done in the Commonwealth before, in Canada. So its not too far fetched compared to what both sides have been pulling out lately.
But things are changing so fast who knows what we’ll be talking about by the end of the day. The topic was so hot on twitter that Liam Fox was second on the Twitter Trending listing last night for Australia. Even our Masalai twitter account picked up 23 new followers in 30 mins last night when we were re-tweeting from Liam.
The majority of Papua New Guineans no longer see any leadership from both sides and in no way think that any of them are acting for the interests of the people.