By Quinton Alomp – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Recent calls by Sir Michael Somare and Sir Mekere Morauta for the Prime Minister to resign from office have been described by Peter O’Neill as first class hypocrisy.
Referring to the recent arrests of high profile leaders, Mr O’Neill repeated that he will only resign if there is evidence of him benefiting financially.
He says he will not resign as the motives of Sir Michael and Sir Mekere is pure sour grapes.
The two former Prime Ministers have recently released public statemen’s calling on Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill to step aside from office.
“Mr O’Neill knows well that the Office of the Prime Minister is not a personal possession,” Sir Mekere said.
Both claimed that the integrity of the Office of Prime Minister has been undermined by O’Neill’s actions in relation to criminal charges against him relating to a warrant of arrest and the investigation into the Paul Paraka legal bills payment.
Sir Mekere said, “A shadow has been cast over the Office of the Prime Minister by the activities of Mr O’Neill in relation to the exercise of the warrant for his arrest and the police investigation of the Paraka case from which the criminal charges he faces derive.”
“Papua New Guinea’s are not fools, nor should we be treated as fools. They see Mr O’Neill’s tactics for what they are naked attempts to prevent investigation of corruption and illegal acts.
Sir Michael Somare released another statement calling on all elected MPs not to remain silent and allow the PMs Office to be manipulated.
Sir Michael called on the PM to respect his Office and surrender to police.
But, O’Neill replied in a statement yesterday, describing commen’s from the two former Prime Ministers as “first class hypocrisy.”
“Recent commen’s by Sir Michael Somare and calls for me to leave office are self-serving and simply unnecessary from a person who has been hell-bent on removing this Government since him losing power in 2011.
“Whilst these matters are before the Courts, he has to respect that no person is guilty until proven so in a court of law based on compelling evidence.
“I have always stated- show evidence of me benefiting financially or otherwise and I will resign.
“I would never do so because Somare and Morata think I should, their motives is simply sour grapes.” Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in the statement.
The Prime Minister denied receiving any direct financial benefits from the Paul Paraka saga. However, he blamed Sir Michael from benefiting directly from misused state funds.
“Look at the issues he has raised, it is fact that I did not receive money in my bank account like Somare has. He needs to explain why PNG Government money from the community college fund ended up in his personal account number in Singapore. His son and him have benefitted directly whilst PNG is left with an incomplete community colleges and with millions of U.S Dollars in loans taken out of this project, while Somare got millions of Dollars in his pocket.”