The Vote of No Confidence’
As a leader of a party within the governing coalition government led by Prime Minister O’Neil, and in my capacity as Governor of NCD, I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court to recall Parliament to deal with the Vote of No Confidence. After all the stress that the country has faced in the last nine or ten weeks and the continuous pressure by the opposition to use this mechanism to try to discredit the Government, the decision of the Court will give everyone an opportunity to settle this matter once and for all so that our people and our nation can hopefully heal and move on to address the many issues facing all of us as a nation.
This is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to show if he still has the support of Parliament and the support of the people of our nation. It is also an opportunity for the Opposition to show if they have the numbers to carry out the Vote of No Confidence to change the Government. From here the public will be able to assess for themselves, if the decision to file the motion is genuine and not just a tactical ploy by the Opposition to create instability to the country.
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) helped form this current Government and as a party we are committed to remaining in Government. We are also committed to do whatever we can for national interest and for the interest of the people. As far as we are concerned, as members of the coalition government, there are no reasons to change the Government. The issue is with the Prime Minister and as Government of the day; we are still strong and delivering on all the policies that we have set out as mandated leaders and members of parliament.
While welcoming the decision of the Supreme Court, I am concerned as to the extent and implications the decision of the Court may have on future governments. As far as I am aware of the law, the decision of the court is actually breaching on the doctrine of separation of powers, which is the foundation of our democracy. When parliament last met, the Vote of No Confidence motion was not a formal agenda of Parliament. If it was submitted, it was still the property of the permanent parliamentary committee of Private Members Bill. It was not on the parliament notice paper. When parliament was adjourned in the last sitting, we adjourned knowing that the notice for the motion of Vote of No Confidence was not a business of parliament yet as it was not on the notice paper. For the Supreme Court to order Parliament to be recalled and meet on a matter still before a parliamentary committee, who have not deliberated on its merits or demerits, and have not made any report to Parliament, clearly shows that the Court has gone beyond its bounds.
I hope and appeal to both the Opposition Leader and the Speaker not to allow this decision to stand as precedence, as it will serve as a basis for continuous interference by the Court in the legislature in future. It is therefore important, for the sake of future parliaments, that this decision by the Supreme Court is challenged, perhaps at a later date, after parliament has dealt with the business of the motion of Vote of No Confidence this Friday.
HON POWES PARKOP LLB LLM MP
Parliamentary leader of Social Democratic Party