UPDATE: Elise Archer announced on Wednesday she will quit Parliament altogether, ending a standoff with the Premier over her future.
“I have decided to provide my resignation to Her Excellency today. This is done with an extremely heavy heart particularly given the outpouring of support I have received, encouraging me to stay on – so to those who have personally contacted me, I am deeply humbled by your support, and I wish to thank you sincerely,” said a statement from the Member for Clark.
“However, this is the right decision for me personally, knowing the types of threats and tactics adopted by this government recently, are likely to continue. If they ceased or I felt less pressured to decide today, the outcome may have been different.”
EARLIER: Ex-Liberal Member for Lyons John Tucker is questioning whether the Premier has broken the law in the the Rockliff Government’s biggest upheaval yet.
Jeremy Rockliff has given former Attorney-General Elise Archer a deadline of 9am Monday to decide whether she’ll guarantee supply and confidence as an independent – or he’ll request the Governor issue writs for an election.
Mr Rockliff demanded Mrs Archer’s resignation on Friday amidst bullying claims as well as a leaked Whatsapp message where the Member for Clark said she was “sick of victim-survivors”.
Mrs Archer claims the message was taken out of context.
“Should you choose to remain in Parliament, you have an obligation to provide my Government with a guarantee of supply and confidence. If you cannot provide this guarantee, then the right course is for you to do as you first said, and stand down from Parliament to make way for a Liberal,” said Mr Rockliff in a letter addressed to Mrs Archer on Wednesday.
“I want to be clear, I will not be returning to Parliament unless either of these two actions occurs.”
Mr Tucker cites legislation forbidding anyone from interfering with parliament or unlawfully influencing an MP by force, fraud, threats or intimidation.
“The way the Premier is behaving with Elise at the moment, I think it’s section 70 under the Criminal Code, I would be asking the question on whether he’s crossed the line with that,” Mr Tucker told LAFM’s Richard Perno.
“It seems that, yeah, it’s my way or the highway, Elise.”
Political scientist Richard Herr doesn’t expect a leadership challenge against Mr Rockliff, after Deputy Premier Michael Ferguson brushed aside calls for him to step up.
“I don’t think any potential premier on the Liberal side would want to risk their future chances under the present circumstances,” said Dr Herr.
“It’s not so much mutiny, it’s bloody political suicide, to have the temerity or foolishness to believe they could pull the fat out of the fire.”