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PNG Opposition moves to nullify O'Neill's election as Prime Minister

Papua New Guinea  Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch is alleging that Peter O’Neill’s election as Prime Minister on 2 August 2017, is unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

Mr Pruaitch is alleging that the illegality arises out of two distinct and separate grounds.

Firstly, the provision of the Organic Law, Section 63, under which the Head of State has relied upon to invite the People’s National Congress Party to form government, following the 2017 General Election, is unconstitutional. The ensuing election of Mr Peter O’Neill is as a consequence null and void

Secondly, Pruaitch said the election of Mr Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister should have taken place “on the next sitting day’ after the notice of his nomination was given on 2 August 2017 to Parliament

Mr Pruaitch and the Shadow Attorney General Mr Kerenga Kua have today (20/02/2019) jointly and severally filed an Originating Summons in the Supreme Court for an interpretation of these issues.

Mr Pruaitch said the success of anyone or both of these allegations in the Supreme Court can lead to a declaration of a vacancy in the Office of the Prime Minister in Parliament.

Mr Pruaitch has instructed prominent constitutional lawyer Loani Henao to ask the Supreme Court to fast track the determination on this matter. He said the people of this country need to know quickly if the Prime Minister is in office lawfullly. Henao Lawyers are acting for the Opposition on this matter.

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