PNG watch dog institutions must do their appointed jobs independently of external influence
Transparency International PNG (TI PNG) notes the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill's moves to suspend his court actions to postpone the warrant for his arrest for fraud and so allow himself to face investigation. In doing so, Mr O’Neill has submitted himself to observing the principle of separation of powers, which is a fundamental aspect of our constitution, and without which the rule of law may otherwise be compromised.
Our democracy is founded upon the effective operation of three arms of government, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. Without due and proper regard to such institutions and importantly, the separation of their powers, our future development aspirations and prosperity are not assured.
It is vital that our watch dog institutions do their appointed jobs properly, and independently of external influence, in accordance with and as demanded by the constitution. Their processes provide for the most effective protection of the rights of all individuals and our democracy.
In particular, we draw attention to the leadership code and its provisions for dealing with our leaders and oversight of their responsibilities in office. By design, the leadership code demands that those who hold public office are held to a higher standard of behaviour than that required of ordinary citizens. The leadership code is an important tool available to be used to assist preserve the integrity of public offices as provided under the constitution.
TI PNG reminds our elected leaders that parliament exists to represent the interest of the people, as legislators they are voted into office to represent their constituents. Accordingly, their leadership is only by the authority of the people.
In this regard, the people should be fairly and honestly represented, which also requires that they be listened to. Our chosen and constitutionally appointed leaders must also honour the right of freedom of speech in its various forms including the use of peaceful protest.
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