Papua New Guinea's democracy has been further stained with the news the government has refused to accept the community petition against the 'Maladina' amendments which make changes to the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership .
The petition, which contains over 20,000 signitures, was presented to five opposition MPs at Parliament House on May 4th when no government representatives were prepared to male themselves available.
But since then the petition has languished in the office of the Leader of the Opposition as the the government has refused to accept the petition and the Clerk of Parliament was ordered not to take it.
The government seems to have lost all sense of its role as the representatives of the people and to refuse to accept a petition with 20,000 signatures is unbelievably arrogant.
The petition is now back in the hands of the Community Coalition Against Corruption (CCAC) and its partners, including Transparency International.
PNG Media Council president Joe Kanekane said CCAC saw fit to retrieve the petition after the government decided against accepting or discussing it in Parliament.
“CCAC is dismayed but not surprised that the clerk had refused to accept the people’s petition against the Maladina amendments. The petition had sat in Parliament with no avenues for it to be presented on the floor of Parliament. That is why we have taken back the public petition to say loudly that we will not go quietly,” he said.
Kanekane said the voice of the people could not be and must not be silenced.