The Governor General, Sir Bob Dadae has, pursuant to the Organic Law on the Calling of Meetings of the Parliament, by notice in the National Gazette dated, 19 July 2022, fixed the date for the Parliament to meet on 4th August 2022, at 10.00 am. This will be the first meeting of the 11th Parliament following the National General Elections.
This was done following consultations between the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament, as is prescribed in law. It is expected that the first order of business, will be the swearing-in of Members of Parliament, followed by the election of the Speaker of the 11th National Parliament. After the Speaker’s swearing-in by the Governor General, the Speaker will then preside over the election of a Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister, Hon James Marape, has acknowledged this process. He says that it is a prescribed organic law process, and the National Gazette complies with the required two weeks’ notice for the calling of the National Parliament.
“I want to acknowledge that this is a legal process, and that once the consultations were concluded between the outgoing Speaker and I, the instrument and publishing of the National Gazette sets the clock in motion”
With the date of the meeting fixed, the Prime Minister noted with concern that the counting process is slower than expected. He acknowledged that this process must also be closely sequenced with the counting and declaration processes of the National General Elections 2022.
“I want to appeal to all our citizens to refrain from resorting to violent, unlawful, and disruptive activities which could undermine the counting and the declaration processes, because these processes are locked into an organic law timeline, the end of which is the first sitting of Parliament. All elected representatives of our people must participate in the first sitting of the 11th Parliament. Any disruption to the counting process is going to make this eventuality very challenging.”
“I appeal to candidates and their supporters to refrain from disrupting the counting process, so that writs can be returned on time, and that all members of Parliament can attend the first meeting of the incoming Parliament. There are adequate avenues provided for in law to have issues raised, but the counting must be allowed to continue undisrupted.”