O’Neill: I will resign if I received a financial benefit

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has again blasted the Opposition Leader Don Polye for using government agencies for his gain.

When responding to Polye’s question during Question Time in today’s Parliament session, on why he (O’Neill) should not allow the police to clear him, O’Neill in a defensive tone said he could not, on a political witch hunt subject himself to such ridicule to undermine the office of the Prime Minister and set the precedence.

However, he stated in Parliament that: “ If there is evidence that I have received one financial benefit I will resign tomorrow.”

“I cannot subject the Office of the Prime Minister to such ridiculed because when it happens, it sets a very bad precedent, where the Office of the Prime Minister is questioned and that the Government is destabilised.

“Members of the opposition cannot go out to elections and win elections and form government in their own right but tend to use agencies of government like the police to go out there and do witch-hunt based on no credible evidence,” he said. 

Polye, on the other side of the House told O’Neill that he (Polye) had already been cleared by the authorities and asked him if he could allow himself to be cleared by the authorities.

However, O’Neill further reiterated that if there is evidence that he had received any financial benefit he will resign tomorrow.

“I have stated this and I will state it again, if there is evidence that I have received one financial benefit, I will resign tomorrow and I challenge the Opposition Leader to do the same.”

He called on Polye to stop misleading the country and follow the rule of law.

The PNG anti-corruption watchdog issued a warrant for O'Neill's arrest in June 2014.

The outstanding warrant relates to allegations O'Neill personally authorised the illegal payment of about $31 million (US$22.8 million) to law firm Paul Paraka Lawyers.

O'Neill said that the legal case was taking its course.

“Show me where I have received one toea (PNG coins) or one Kina (cash currency) and I will resign tomorrow,” he told the National Press Club in Canberra recently

In 2014, O'Neill responded to the arrest warrant by sacking the PNG Police Commissioner, firing his attorney-general and suspending numerous other Justice Department and police officials.

He also disbanded the country's anti-corruption watchdog, Task Force Sweep.

Freddy Mou