AG chamber declares Tango as still the legal premier
Ousted Renbel premier Lence Tango remains the legal premier of the Renbel province.
That’s according to a formal letter issued by the Attorney General Chamber’s office (AGCO).
The clarification came following the political impasse affecting the province since last month resulting in mass resignation from the Tango led government.
The AG office in a formal written letter issued to the minister of provincial government and institutional strengthening (MPGIS) advised him (minister) that Lence Tango is still a legal premier of the province according to provincial Act.
According to the letter being cited by the Solomon Star on Monday stated that the ministry of provincial government and institutional strengthening had taken up opinions regarding the Renbel political impasse to the AG office for legal advice as to who is the real premier of Renbel.
The letter stated that Hon Tango being the legal premier is still entitled to advice the minister of provincial government on the appointment of a member of the provincial assembly to be deputy premier and other members to be ministers so as to form a complete provincial executive.
The letter further stated that according to standing orders for Renbel provincial assembly it provides the rules that regulate procedures and conducts of the calling meetings of the provincial assembly.
“Standing order 3(c) clearly states that only person permitted to determine the day and time in which the provincial assembly is to meet is the premier. Pursuant to section 19(6) of the act the only other authorised person who may exercises this power is the deputy premier is the circumstances specified therein.
“The speaker does not have unilateral power to call a meeting of the provincial assembly,rather can only provide notice to the members where the meeting will be held and what matters will be considered at the meeting,” the letter stated.
The letter further stated that the speaker also did not have any reserved or implied powers to determine the date of a provincial assembly meeting.
“Given that the deputy premier had resigned and premier Mr Tango hadn’t determined the date of the assembly meeting and the speaker not being empowered either under the Act or the standing orders, the speakers actions in unilaterally determined the date and the calling for an assembly meeting of the Renbel provincial assembly is in breach of the Act and the standing order.
“It follows therefore that the calling ,the conducts and all transaction of any business on that day has any force in law,and are consequently unlawful and invalid,’’ AG letter explain.
The letter further stated the decision by the speaker to unilaterally call a full assembly meeting is invalid, notices issued, conducts of meetings and all proceedings,including debating motion of no confidence,voting and resolutions by the members of the assembly,nomination for and election of Honorable Johnstone Timothy as premier,selection of a deputy speaker,selection of provincial ministers and all oaths of office taken by the ministers,are all invalid and have no force of law.
The letter further explained,Hon Timothy’s election as premier has not being carried out according to law,any recommendations made by him to the minister for the appointments of a deputy premier and provincial ministers shall not be valid.
“We understand that four members of the provincial executive have resigned from being provincial ministers and have joined the ‘opposition members’ in the assembly. There are now eight opposition members over the provincial executive.
“However the Act does not stipulates that the principle of majority rule applies nor does it provides that the premier must resign when he does not have the support in terms of numbers in the executive.
“Hon Tango may resign voluntarily as premier if he choses so, but he cannot lose his position of premier by the sheer resignation of all his provincial ministers.
“Section 19(1)(c) provides that the total number of provincial ministers inclusive of the premier and the deputy premier shall not exceed one half of the total number of the members of the assembly, which highlights the facts that the principle of majority rules was not the intention of the Act,” the letter said .
The letter highlighted the present situation where Hon Tango refuses to resign as premier and the fact there are more members in the opposition side are not grounds on their own which would invoke section 44 of the Act.
In an exclusively interview with premier Tango yesterday said, he received the letter from AG chamber last week.
“Now I’m still premier of Renbel province,” he told Solomon Star yesterday.
Mr Tango said that three ministers from opposition group have being given their letter yesterday and should take up their portfolios anytime this week.
“But if they refuse then I would resign probably next week and the provincial government would immediately suspend the provincial government according to the advice of the AG office,” Mr Tango said on Monday.
By Denver Newter