PM Pledges Support as PNG face political turmoil

HONIARA (Solomon Star / Pacific Media Watch): Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has pledged his government’s support to Papua New Guinea as the neighboring country is currently facing a political instability.

Speaking to local news media yesterday, Prime Minister Lilo said he had assured the PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Ano Pala in Suva during the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) late last month that the national government was concerned with the situation in Port Moresby.

It is understood the “political hiccup” in PNG had forced PNG Prime Minister O’Neil to skip the MSG meeting.

“Solomon Islands pledges to support PNG as a big brother,” Lilo said.

Papua New Guinea has been gripped by political turmoil since December last year.

That was when two leaders, Sir Michael Somare and Peter O'Neill, both claimed to be the rightful prime minister of the nation.

Both have set up their own cabinets, and both answer to a different governor-general and police commissioner.

The situation has been resolved since but has escalated in the past few weeks when PNG parliament passed a Judicial Act last month which gave the PNG Parliament the power to refer a judge to the Governor-General who must appoint a tribunal.

This has caused public uproar which resulted in a peaceful protest in Port Moresby Tuesday this week.

It is understood Prime Minister Lilo is expected to pay a visit to PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neil sometime soon to reassure Lilo’s government support for PNG.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lilo has also pledged his support to the Fijian government on their roadmap for a democratic elections in 2014.

It is understood Lilo verbally assured Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during the MSG meeting last week in Suva.


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