OPPOSITION PLEASE PROVIDE PROOF OF ALLEGATIONS

OP/ED

The allegations are of a plot it is alleged, by Sir Michael for police to arrest Government critic and Opposition MP Belden Namah. Mr Namah is a former minister in Sir Michael’s Cabinet who left the Government because he was part of an Opposition attempt to move a vote of no confidence in the Government.

In a statement last night, Mr Namah (Vanimo/Green River MP) said the order for his arrest was over his criticisms of the government’s handling of high-profile controversies involving senior parliamentarians. Mr Namah said he was “informed” at the weekend of the highly confidential directive for his arrest.

He then went on to accuse Sir Michael of using State institutions to silence leaders and citizens who dare to openly criticise the Government. Mr Namah’s allegation is very serious indeed. His allegation follows hot on the heels of activist Noel Anjo’s allegations of the Prime Minister ordering his forceful pick up by police and subsequent alleged assault by the Chief and his wife Lady Veronica at the Prime Minister’s official residence.

Again, another very serious allegation. Sir Michael is the Prime Minister of this country and Messrs Namah and Anjo must substantiate their allegations. The public and indeed common decency expect them to do so. And the Prime Minister equally owes his people a proper response to these allegations.

Sir Michael has not said anything on the Anjo allegations. His media advisor and daughter, Betha Somare has responded only to say the family would defend the allegations vigorously and that the PM’s legal team was looking into the allegation with a view to suing Anjo. That may be, but the people need a proper response from their leader. The fact that there is none adds fuel to the strongly held belief that the Chief is indifferent to his people.

We stand up for nothing but respect for the common good, which goes without saying then that if an office as high as the Prime Minister’s is seen to be brought into disrepute, that office, owes it to the people which it represents, to give them a proper response. Likewise. In the case of the Namah allegation, Mr Namah has to provide proof of the alleged plot. When exactly were the directive issued. Name those who brought the news to him. And how was the supposed directive issued by the Grand Chief....in a letter to police, a phone call or what. So much has happened in the past 18 months in politics in PNG. 

When the Supreme Court ruled provisions of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates unconstitutional, it set into motion events that threatened to bring the Somare Government down. One of these is the unresolved no-confidence motion against Sir Michael which is expected to be dealt with in this sitting of the House. While this is pending, Anjo has sided with the Opposition to air allegations of his alleged kinapping, allegedly by the Prime Monister himself. This has now politicised his alleged ordeal.

He has since put through a demand for compensation. The country was still weighing this allegation up, trying to make up its mind on whether its true or not, when the National Executive Council last week made changes in the police hierarchy. The change does not sit well with sections of the community including the Opposition, which is now alleging that the PM has put fellow Sepiks in charge of all three discipline forces so he can have control of these institutions. It certainly looks that way but we pray it does not happen.

We are 20 months away from elections and are aware mud slinging has about begun as we come around on the home straight. Much more will happen including the Opposition’s attempt to change this government in the remainder of the current term of Parliament. If the Opposition wants to bring down the government, then it has the freedom and the right to do so but only on the floor of Parliament, and nowhere else. If the Opposition wants to do that in public, then its statements and actions must be substantiated.

We agree It is not good enough for the Opposition to raise speculation and make unfounded allegations with the motive to damaging the reputation of the Grand Chief. These stories only serve to hurt PNG’s image and reputation. The Opposition must be responsible too. It owes it to the people of this country to draw the truth from the Government.

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