PM condemns calls for his resignation

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has condemned attempts by the Opposition to politicize the unrest in Southern Highlands Province.

O’Neill said now is the time for parties involved in the court decision that preceded the unrest to work together.

In a media conference yesterday, PM O’Neill said the leaders of Southern Highlands have organised themselves, particularly those involved in the election dispute, so they can work together to manage expectations of the people in the province.

He said every time there is an incident around the country, the Opposition always calls for his resignation.

“They should know that the only way to beat me is to go to elections and try to beat me on the floor of Parliament.

“We have a situation where public and private assets have been damaged by an unruly mob, and the Opposition is siding with these individuals to make their own political gain.

“What kind of Opposition do we have that they would not condemn such behaviour, but would use it to attempt to stir up emotions for their own political interests.”

The PM added that the Government will never condone this sort of behaviour, and will enforce the State of Emergency so that they properly address the law and order issues that are on the ground and charge those responsible.

“We need strong political leadership for both sides of the Parliament, to work together for the common good of our country.”

He added that regardless of the call from the Opposition, “we are working with provincial leaders and restoring calm and normalcy in Mendi and affected areas in Nipa”.

He is calling on all leaders, especially those in the Opposition, to let State agencies do their job independently and not interfere or try to further politicize this process.

He added that too often we see situations arise, and instead of allowing the law and justice process to take its course, politicians get involved and interfere, or start offering compensation and undermine the legal process.

(Prime Minister Peter O’Neill with Minister Richard Maru during yesterday’s press conference)

Freddy Mou