Unitech responds to PM’s letter

A student leader at the University of Technology responded to the PM’s nine-page reply saying: “We are talking about morality, not legality”.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill responded to UPNG and Unitech’s petitions yesterday (Monday) evening after seeking “advices from the State Agencies”.

The PM responded to the issues of UBS loan, budget cuts, Paul Paraka Lawyers, turbine power generators, distribution of District Services Improvement Program funds and national debt, among others.

Unitech SRC committee deputy chairman Livingstone Fontenu told Loop PNG today that O’Neill is the first PM, in this country’s history, to have numerous allegations levelled against him.

“The founders of our nation like Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti once had accusations laid against them. But as true statesmen, who have respect for the rule of law and respect of public opinion, stepped aside to prove their innocence.

“So we want neither those explanations nor another day to wait and watch our court system do its honest work, only to be blocked just before justice is served,” said Fontenu.

“What we demand is for him to step down. That office is not anyone’s birthright.

“Instead of taking the PM’s office of the 7.8 million people of PNG to court and having accusations laid against it, violating its integrity, validity and power, just step aside, face the court and prove your innocence.”

In his response yesterday, O’Neill said: “I wish to state clearly that I have no intention of either stepping aside or resigning from the Office of the Prime Minister.

“The people that have the legal mandate to remove a prime minister from office are the National Parliament or the people at the general election.

“I was mandated by the people in 2012 and duly elected by Members of Parliament, and I intend to uphold and respect their mandate until 2017 general election.”

Carmella Gware