From PAUL OATES
Central Provence Governor Parkop has offered to be a 'peace broker' between those opposing the Malandina Amendment changes and Malandina. In this he has exhibited an example in the finest traditional manner of a PNG leader offering to sit down and talk a problem through. In this, he is to be commended.
What this offer unfortunately does however, is to cloud the 'central' issue to the extent it may be overlooked in an apparent public attempt to create harmony and prevent discord.
Also, can one assume that Governor Parkop, as a member of Parliament, originally voted for the amendment in the first place, since there were no dissenting votes? So could this be a veiled attempt to divert a show of solidarity against this legislation? If the planned protests do not go ahead, who will know what level of resistance there is against this Bill? Who can say there was any real attempt to stop this initiative from going forward? What is Governor Parkop's stated view on what he supports and what he doesn't? If there are to be no public demonstrations because it might disturb the flower beds, is this the new basis for preventing any future public gatherings?
There definitely needs to be a halt to the proposed Bill. But the Bill first needs to be withdrawn and then everyone take a step backwards. Proper, orderly and public debate can then take place by both the PNG government, the Opposition and all interested bodies before any changes are made to the PNG people's last line of defence against corruption and malfeance, there own Constitution.
from today's The National
Parkop volunteers to broker NGO meeting with Maladina
NCD Governor Powes Parkop has volunteered to organise a meeting between NGOs and Esa'ala MP Moses Maladina to discuss the proposed changes to "weaken" Ombudsman Commission powers.
Mr Parkop said yesterday he was playing the middleman because did not want to see the planned protest march led by NGO group, Community Coalition Against Corruption, go ahead.
He quashed suggestions that he was on a panel that was going to defend the proposed amendments suggested by Mr Maladina, who is the chairman of the select committee on the Ombudsman Commission.
"I have arranged for civil societies and non-governmental organisations to meet with Mr Maladina come to a solution.
"If they do not settle their differences here, then there is always room to continue their dialogue for the best way forward," Mr Parkop said.
He said that he did not want Port Moresby residents to march or protest on the streets because a lot of money had been spent on Port Moresby's beautification "and we all know that people have the tendency to destroy things," he said.
Mr Parkop said the meeting would also allow for rational debates to be carried out without emotions and yelling and shouting.
"The proposed amendments all have merits and must be scrutinised properly. Some of them, I agree, should be changed and some I don't.
"The public need to know that, basically, more power will be given to the Ombudsman Commission than it had before".
"One such proposed amendment is for heads of departments to be closely scrutinised like Members of Parliament under the Leadership Code.
"This was opposed by the OC because they felt that they would now be doing the job of the Department of Personnel Management.
"This and the others all needed to be debated properly so that everyone understands what will happen next."
In the first voting of the proposed amendments, a majority of the MPs had voted for it only to see the public respond negatively.
It has been given a three-month period in which all public opinion be gathered for consideration and presentation for voting again in the next Parliament sitting after the three months.
"I appeal to the public not to stage protest marches. If nothing is resolved after today, and if their will be a petition for a next meeting, then I am willing to facilitate this again," Mr Parkop said.