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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Constitution under siege. Judiciary to exercise inherent powers to administer the law.

Members of the Community Coalition Against Corruption (CCAC) met last Friday (29/04/16) concerned that Papua New Guinea is facing a constitutional crisis orchestrated by individuals who seem to think the public offices they hold entitles them to undermine the basic principles of PNG's democracy.

The CCAC, co-chaired by Transparency International PNG and the Media Council, called the meeting in the light of more attempts to prevent investigations of alleged misuse of public office.

The CCAC does not accept the closure of the National Fraud & Anti Corruption Directorate by the Police Commissioner. It cannot be seen as coincidental that, immediately following court decisions regarding the work of senior police officers, action was taken to close down the office and place it under siege by police officers who do not appear to understand the implications of their actions.

The CCAC reminds members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary at all levels that efforts to obstruct the legal process can result in the Judiciary executing its inherent powers to administer the law and ensure that justice is served for the best interest of the nation.

The CCAC encourages all involved in public office to consider the powers they have, and the obligations they carry, to ensure that the laws, Constitution and institutions of PNG are treated with the required respect and honesty. Solemn promises have been given to the people of PNG and each office holder should examine these promises and his or her inherent powers in responding to attacks on the foundations of our society.

The CCAC appeals directly to the Police Commissioner to be seen to carry out his duties fairly. We seek assurance from the Ombudsman Commission of PNG that it is responding to allegations of serious breaches of the Leadership Code. We also call on the Offices of the Public Prosecutor, Public Solicitor and the Auditor General (All Constitutional Office holders) to show that they are indeed independent and obliged by oath to respond.

Finally, the CCAC appeals to elected leaders to demonstrate moral and ethical leadership and responsibility. It is not acceptable that any public office holder, whether Constitutional Officer holder or holding other executive office of responsibility, should be permitted to use that office to undermine democracy and justice. Yet sackings, defiance of court orders, cynical refusal to face questions concerning illegal payments and many more serious attacks on our institutions appear to be occurring.

Papua New Guinea is being dragged into a constitutional crisis which creates division within society and even within the institutions established to protect the people and their constitution. The CCAC has confidence that public officials can see the danger and their obligations.

Authorized By: Lawrence Stephens & Alexander Rheeny  - CCAC Co-Chairs 

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 6:21 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article


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