April 23, 2019

PNG Opposition calls on PM O'Neill to resign

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch is calling on Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to resign from office.

In a telephone interview with NBC News, Mr Pruaitch said leaders were losing confidence in the O'Neill-Abel Government.

Mr Pruaitch was referring to the resignation of Finance Minister James Marape a fortnight ago, and that of Justice Minister and Attorney General, Davis Steven last week from Cabinet.


Mr Pruaitch has also described the resignation of Mr Marape as brave and courageous in the interest of the country.

"My initial reaction is that if the chief financial advisor and the chief legal advisor (of the government) are resigning, that shows there is no confidence in the leadership of Mr O'Neill, and the honorable thing for the prime minister to do is to throw in the towel and resign.

He cannot continue to lead the country because the people who are advising him on financial and legal matters have no confidence in him and are resigning, and therefore it is only proper that prime minister steps aside for a new government to be reconstituted in the interest of the country.

Mr O'Neill has reacted to the resignations, elevating PANGU Pati Leader, Sam Basil to the Finance Ministry and appointing Civil Aviation Minister, Alfred Manasseh to act as Justice Minister and Attorney General, until an appointment is made this week.

Meantime, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has reiterated that his government is intact.

He says he is not moved by one or two members of parliament who have decided to detach themselves from the government.

Mr O'Neill says his government is stable and will continue to implement major government policies.

"Yu ken harim planti noise i kam long Waigani, olsem tumoro ol bai sensim gavaman na tumoro ol bai mekim olsem, tasol em noise tasol.

"Mipla ol gavaman stap long mekim wok so wok mas igo yet.

"Gavaman blo yumi igat strong, igat 80-pela member, na disla kain namba ino save stap bipo.

"So noken ting gavaman i seksek. Mipla planim pos na hat lo rausim."

Mr O'Neill made these remarks during the launch of the multi-million Kina Southern Highlands Rural Electrification program in Kagua recently.

NBC News
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