The People’s National Congress Party remains steadfast to its leader and Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, and that there is no vacancy in this post.
Spokesperson and Finance Minister, James Marape, says the party caucus of 56 members met last week and upheld this position.
He says the Prime Minister and other members implicated in the Paraka payments remain innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.
While the social media went viral last week on speculations that Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has resigned, PNC Party strongman and Finance Minister, James Marape says the party is intact, and O’Neill remains their leader and Prime Minister.
He said many leaders including the Prime Minister and himself, have been implicated in the payment of millions of kina to Paraka lawyers, but until the court and justice processes are completed with these allegations substantiated, they are innocent and have the mandate to run public offices as people so desired after the 2012 elections.
He said most state agencies involved in the investigations into this matter, have been compromised, and he believes the new inquiry set by the Prime Minister and taxation case he has instituted, should get to the bottom of all these.
The taxation case is to get the courts as an independent arbitration, to review Paraka’s bills back to 2003, when they were first engaged by the government through the Attorney General’s office, cross check against all monies paid to the law firm, and to see how much they have been paid, and for what work.
Mr. Marape said the Attorney General and the Solicitor general’s office were initially asked to verify these payments, when the bills were first brought to him, but these offices under the watch of former Attorney General, Kerenga Kua, failed to confirm the validity of these payments with his office.
Meanwhile, he said there were processes in place to deal with all matters, and they will not be swayed by people with political motives, who are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.
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