WILL O’NEILL RESIGN AS PETITIONED?

by ELIZAH PAMA

This article analyses PETER O’NEILL’S LIKELY RESPONSE TO THE PETITION presented by the Students at UPNG and it is based on his initial reaction when receiving the petition. The article also contextualises with O’Neill’s entrenched character.

The students of Papua New Guinea in major universities and colleges led by UPNG have Thursday presented their petition to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill through his proxy former activist and now governor, Powes Parkop. The presentation was witnessed by more than 15,000 people who congregated at the University of PNG Forum Square well before the arrival of PM O’Neill’s delegates. For reasons only known the O’Neill, he refused to receive the petition from the students himself.

The Petition was presented at around 3 pm whereby the Prime Minister was given 24 hours to respond and Governor Parkop promised that he would deliver the petition right away. PNG Loop news reports at 5:16pm the acknowledgement of receipt of the petition by the PM. The Loop news records the following as the immediate reactions of the PM to the Petition:
•    “There are several assertions that are made in the petition for which a considered and detailed brief will be prepared and presented to the UPNG Student Representative Council.
•    “Considering that several of these matters are before the courts, comment must be carefully considered so as to not undermine court proceedings.
•    “A number of claims have been made that relate to the national economy for which comprehensive analysis will be provided to students.
•    “Papua New Guinea is a country in which democratic process is universally cherished and respected by our people.”

ANALYSIS

The writer is not privy to the content of the Petition but inferring from the 4 paragraphs above of the PM’s reaction, certain things are expected from this unwavering man of many contradictions.

1.    BUY TIME TO COOL THEM OFF: PM would say that the petition requires detailed responses. There are matters that are in court as well as the state of the economy that need to be analysed and responded adequately. He will say “my immediate concern and that of your parents is for you all to return to classes while I prepare my response.” Instead of the 24 Hours, he will seek an extension of who knows, weeks, and the momentum diminishes immediately.

2.    CONTEMPT OF COURT:
PM will say the issues concerning his arrest warrant had been stayed by the Court and that we should all respect the Courts to do their job, otherwise it would amount to contempt of court for interfering in the administration of justice.

3.    ECONOMIC ISSUES: PM will get his stooge Governor of Bank of Papua New Guinea and co-corruptor in the Israeli generator Fraud Daire Vele to sing the same praises of the state of the economy. While everybody else are seeing the economic crises and feeling the effects of it, PM O’Neill doesn’t. In his OWN eyes, Peter O’Neill sees no economic crisis.

4.    PNG IS A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY AND ONLY A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS WILL CHANGE THE PM:
PM is likely to say, “this country has rules and laws that build the foundation of our democracy. The Democratic process of changing government is on the floor of Parliament and the entire Parliament is with me. Your elected leaders are with me. If they feel that I am not fit and proper to run the affairs of the country, they could have changed me long time ago. Listen, the elections are about 10 months away. We should all wait for that process to take place. No one will do miracle to our problems with these next 10 remaining months. I know things like these emerge close to the general elections. We will all have our fair say during the elections.”

So in the end, and at the coolest of the moment, Peter O’Neill will submit his response and say words to the effect “I have basically responded to your petition. You have made your point and there is no further reason for continued protests”.

What then is required of Peter O’Neill in the petition? Does it require Peter O’Neill to respond point by point; or does it require Peter O’Neill to resign for the very reasons listed by the students and the public in the petition?

THE PETITION DOES NOT REQUIRE MR O’NEILL TO RESPOND POINT BY POINT. Such a practise occurs when you have an independent authority such as the Court to determine the issue by allowing both sides to present their sides of the story.  But it is in O’Neill’s nature that he is likely to take this option. He does not believe in an independent authority. He wants issues to be presented so that he will devise his defence accordingly to water them down. A clear testament is his open request for Police to present the evidence against him in relation to Paraka Lawyers fraud so that he could see whether it is sufficient to present himself for questioning or resign as the PM. How absurd it is since the authority to look at the evidence and determine his guilt or innocence is vested in the court, yet this is the guy who sees the abnormality as normal.

THE PETITION REQUIRES O’NEILL TO RESIGN ON ACCOUNT OF ISSUES RAISED BY THE PUBLIC. This is a court of public opinion. The maintenance of popular support is necessary to continue to run the public office legitimately. When there is overwhelming public demand for any Prime Minister in any other democratic country to resign, he succumbs to that popular call. It doesn’t matter you can manipulate the speaker of Parliament to defeat vote of no confidence motions; it doesn’t matter you manipulate the Members of Parliament with DSIP funds to keep their loyalty against their will; when the people make a united call, your mandate to represent them is withdrawn. That call has been made, not only by the students, but by all the people of all walks of life. Calls like this do not require stringent legal processes, or require parliamentary processes nor does it require an election process. The power vested in the Prime Minister belongs to the people and once the people demand that an individual be removed from his continued occupancy of the peoples’ office, he cannot resist and claim otherwise. 

The mandate for Peter O’Neill to be a Member of Parliament belongs to the people of Ialibu Pangia and they will decide when the time comes in 2017. The Office of the Prime Minister belongs to the people of Papua New Guinea. PNG is making this call for Peter O’Neill to vacate that office within 24 hours.

The writer does not have any connection with the student and Union leaders who are spearheading the protest. As a concerned citizen observing the events and analysing them here, I am proposing the following plans to counter Peter O’Neill’s likely unfavourable response.

1.    BUY TIME TO COOL THEM OFF: The students have awakened the power of the people that was either supressed or dormant in times of adversity. The momentum is building up. It is now or never. O’Neill is very ruthless is penalising his opponents. He will find all manner of ways to deal with the students and their leaders, the unions like the doctors and NGOs once he gets back on his feet. His track record should teach us a valuable lesson. Once that is done, there will be no one who will be able to stand up against this tyrant. Peter O’Neill is not here for a brief term as the Prime Minister. He declared when campaigning for one of his corrupt MPs (David Arore) openly last year where he was reported as saying “I will be here for quite some time so get used to me. My Ialibu Pangia seat will be the first one to be declared.” That if anything, is a clear indication that he has already compromised the election process well before the 2017 National Election. Peter O’Neill is showing that he has the power already and the election process is just a process to sanction it when it supposed to be the people who have the power.

Despite the diminishing popularity and the fact that the Courts have found three of his PNC MPs guilty of election fraud, O’Neill personally made sure that they returned to Parliament, the latest being promiscuous Gordon Wesley. O’Neill knows the formula and that is through rigging the election by using his position as the PM to control all the police, Defence and Electoral Commission as he is doing now.

You are at a point of no return. The only way out of this situation is to go further in until you knock O’Neill out.

2.    CONTEMPT OF COURT: It is gathered from the news feeds that the cases that are in court do not concern and has got nothing to do with, the Office of the Prime Minister which is the principal concern raised in the petition. These cases concern the personal criminal conduct of an individual who happened to be the occupant of the office of the Prime Minister. As such, the call is in order. Peter O’Neill has been dragging the Office of the Prime Minister in and out of the Court House for the last two years since June 2014 when the issues first arose. For the first time in the history of this country, the office of the PM visited almost every court room in Waigani starting from the District Court to the Supreme Court. Unbelievable!! If he wants to continue to do so, as it seems, he can do so in his private capacity to protect his private rights BUT NOT as the Prime Minister.

There is a compelling reason for that: When O’Neill is pursuing his criminal cases while being the PM, he is using the Police Commissioner and other police officers to interfere with the process, he is using the Attorney General to hire lawyers and pay taxpayers’ money to protect his private interest, and he is using all other agencies to protect him. The officers in these agencies fear repercussions of refusal to obey him so they are compromising their positions to protect PM.  Imagine how the judges could be intimidated when the Prime Minister is coming to them for help?

Alternatively, Peter O’Neill can withdraw all these court cases and hand himself in to police for questioning. He can raise his same arguments on the sufficiency of evidence once the police formally process him and serve him the evidence. Former Chief Justice Sir Arnold Amet, while calling on O’Neill to resign, made it clear that there is no requirement in law for O’Neill to be disqualified when he is criminally charged.

3.    ECONOMIC ISSUES: Everybody knows that the single major factor that contributed to the economic crises is corruption and mismanagement by O’Neill and his Government of Co-corrupters. The downturn in the commodity prices worsened it but did not create it. If it was the slump in commodity prices, then O’Neill, Governor of Bank of PNG and Treasury Secretary would have obtained some loans already to prop-up the foreign currency and cash flow shortages that are plaguing this economy. O’Neill, Bakani and Vele are telling the whole world that the country’s economy is doing well and sound but no international financier is buying into that. The O’Neill government was and is continuing to beg at the doorsteps of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 5 months for mercy. The IMF which is supposed to be the lender of last resort in such dire economic circumstances, but does not believe in O’Neill and his economic management ability. 

Interesting enough, none of the highly educated MPs and Ministers are singing praises for O’Neill’s economic management. We only see dimwits like Mao Zeming come out when O’Neill is attacked, and by the way it is believed that Isaac Lupari writes up responses which are all nothing but personal attacks instead of addressing the real issues.

Peter O’Neill and his government had been globetrotting since January 2015 for loans but they have never succeeded in raising any single toea. The O’Neill Government even raised sovereign bonds to go to the international markets which are considered as toilet papers. No international financier trusts this Government. The International Rating Agencies such as Standard & Poors and Moodys have all graded PNG with negative ratings. They don’t trust the credibility of O’Neill, Bakani and Vele. As long as O’Neill is the PM, there will be no rescue for PNG.

Any response O’Neill tries to give, however detailed and complicated it may be, is only a rebounding of O’Neill’s own self-serving views and deceptions. There is no credibility in his economic management.

4.    PNG IS A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY AND ONLY A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS WILL CHANGE THE PM:
the power that Peter O’Neill has as the PM is the power of the people where he was given by the people and he must continue to stay accountable to the people. The mounting public indignation against him is sufficient for him to respect that call and vacate the peoples’ office. It is true that “The Power in the people is greater than the people in power”.

Peter O’Neill has demonstrated to the people of Papua New Guinea and rest of the world that his source of protection, survival and unjust enrichment is the office of the Prime Minister. He never succeeded legitimately in private life as a businessman. He flourished during his time in public office. It will not be easy to remove him. The Call for him to resign is mostly based on compelling moral grounds. Unfortunately, the sad thing is Peter O’Neill does not have any moral compass at all.

If he was a LEADER, he would take the first opportunity to resign like Sir Julius Chan and others. O’Neill is a different breed. Students and the people of Papua New Guinea, you will face resistance and attack. He will use Police whom he knows; always want some “allowances” for extra operations like these. O’Neill has those extra allowances to secure their support.

These policemen have families, children and a future. They must know. But if the entire country revolts, there is not enough police to control it. Today at UPNG, the public was more than 15,000. Comparatively speaking, the entire police population in NCD is probably 1500 only.

One of the comforts of Peter O’Neill is the connivance and tolerance of the Members of Parliament. The students and the Public Should now call on these MPs to start deserting Peter O’Neill. Each District or Province should call upon their elected representatives. That should rock that comfort zone.

In the end, I say NEVER RETREAT!!! NO SURRENDER!!!

PETER O’NEILL’S ONLY RESPONSE TO THE PETITION IS FOR HIS “RESIGNATION”.

PNG IS FED UP OF YOUR LIES!!! NO MORE!!! NO LONGER INTERESTED TO HEAR THEM!!!!

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