By BENNY SANDEKA
THE Government and the Opposition alike are keenly awaiting the ruling of the Supreme Court reference on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.
Pending that decision, the Prime Minister has delayed his much publicised cabinet reshuffle for another two weeks with the possibility of offering renegade opposition MPs ministerial portfolios in his cabinet to stabilise his government in the event that the Supreme Court reference throws out the OLIPPAC.
While the sponsor of the Supreme Court Reference on the OLIPPAC Law, Bob Danaya has openly said he is "not interested" in any ministerial portfolios, other parties in the opposition are playing the "wait and see" game before making a move.
The Opposition has tried to overthrow the National Alliance-led government following the 18 months grace period lapsed but had not succeeded due to provisions in the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates, which effectively prohibited Members of Parliament to switch alliances after voting for the Prime Minister at the formation of government immediately after the elections.
Western Province Governor, Dr Bob Danaya and his Provincial Executive Council have taken the challenge upon themselves to refer respective sections of the Organic Law to the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of OLIPPAC.
Submissions have been received from both the referrers and other interested parties to this high profile case and the Supreme Court has reserved its decision to a later date - which Western Province Governor Dr Danaya believes will be in the next two weeks, a timeframe the Prime Minister has also given to reshuffle his cabinet.
Both the Opposition and the Executive Government are holding their breath awaiting that decision. If OLIPPAC is ruled unconstitutional, old conventions of parliamentary democracy will be back on the floor of parliament, culminating in a vote of no confidence against the National Alliance-led government when parliament meets for its first session for this year next month.
Counsels for both the referrers and the defendants argued eloquently in court throughout this week. The refers maintained that OLLIPAC is unconstitutional because it infringes on MPs rights to move and vote on conscience and that removal of a Prime Minister in a vote of no-confidence is also constitutionally provided for.