O’Neill: Arore's actions not PNC-endorsed

Defeated Ijivitari MP David Arore is not one of People’s National Congress (PNC) decision makers and his actions do not reflect the position of the party.

Outgoing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said this in a press conference at Government House yesterday afternoon, after he was asked to comment on an incident at the Tropicair terminal involving the former MP.

He was asked if the PNC condoned violence and approved of the use of armed policemen to force newly declared politicians to join their camp.

Responding to the question, he said: “Certainly I do not condone any form of violence whatsoever. I don’t think the word ‘kidnap’ is the appropriate word to use on this occasion and certainly, it is not unusual in PNG that these kinds of behaviour were of the past.

“PNC party does not condone enticing members to that level, I can assure that the former member and his team are not part of PNC executive, decision-making or security team.”

O’Neill said politicians in his camp were free to leave the group and were not held against their will.

When pressed on whether Arore was taking orders from the party when he led the group to the airport, the outgoing Prime Minister said the former MP ‘was not tasked to go around and collect members on our behalf’.

“So I am not here to answer for Mr Arore so as I said, he is not an employee of our party, he is not an executive of our party, he is a former member of our party that has lost the election. He is a former member for Ijivitari so he can speak for himself. I think you are asking the wrong person.”

Arore was accompanied by armed policemen into the third level airline’s carpark, where one of them pointed a gun at East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird, and warned that he will be shot if he continued to get pictures.

When asked for his comments on policemen accompanying the former Ijivitari MP to the airport, O’Neill said: “All the security personnel are providing security at every polling centre, every declaration and escorting members of parliament that are elected at their locations so they are doing their job.”

Arore and a group of policemen allegedly tried to whisk newly-declared Ijivitari MP-elect Richard Masere, who flew into Port Moresby with National Alliance Party (NA) MP and Bird.

The attempt to get the new Oro MP-elect into a waiting vehicle led to a scuffle with NA officials, including Namatanai MP and NA party president, Walter Schnaubelt.

(Loop file pic)


Alexander Rheeney