Home Breaking News DEFENDANTS’ TO SUBMIT APPLICATION FOR CASE TO BE STRUCK OUT

DEFENDANTS’ TO SUBMIT APPLICATION FOR CASE TO BE STRUCK OUT

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Rano, left, and Titiulu outside the court today
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The high court has started hearing into the constitutional challenge by the Independent Group with the defendants declaring their intention to strike out the case.

The first defendant, Speaker of Parliament, is represented by Wilson Rano who today told the court that he is filing for a strike out of the case. The second defendants, the Prime Minister, and the Governor General, through their lawyer Savenaca Banuve of the Public Solicitor has also express his intention filing for the case to be struck out.

Leader of the Independent Group John Kuku through his lawyer Billy Titiulu argued that the constitutional process was breached by parliament in the passage of the constitution to delay elections by seven months.

Chief Justice ordered that the court returns on August 31 to fully hear the strike out appeal.

Both parties are to submit their strike submissions in seven days.

Titiulu told reporters outside that he would appeal against the strike-outs to be struck out when court sits at the end of August.

Background

Kuku through his lawyer in his submission has raised several questions about the constitutionality of the process that he wanted the court to answer.

He named the Speaker of Parliament Pattenson Oti as the first defendant, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as the second defendant and His Excellency the Governor General as the third defendant.

There are several issues that he raised but key amongst them is whether or not two separate readings required of Parliament to alter a provision of the constitution under Section 61 (3) of the constitution requires two separate readings of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2022, can take place at the Third Reading?

And, whether or not the act of final voting required of Parliament under Section 61 (3) of the constitution for the valid and lawful passage of the Constitution (Amendment Bill 2022) can only take place at the Third Reading?

Kuku in his submission argued that the passage of the Constitutional Amendment Act 2022 by Parliament in September last year contravened Section 61 (3) of the constitution and is therefore unconstitutional, invalid and of no effect.

Parliament dissolved on May 15, 2023 in accordance with Section 73 (3) of the constitution and; all seats in the National Parliament are vacant as of May 15, 2023 pursuant to Section 50 (a) of the constitution.

Furthermore he claimed that all proceedings by Parliament after May 15, 2023 including the passage of any bills and motions are null and void.

The court is expected to hear defence from the defendants as the court begins hearing into the case which is drawing huge interest from the public.

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