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Former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has advised Prime Minister James Marape to “get to work” instead of “jumping at shadows and panicking about being removed” from power.
The former prime minister was responding to Marape’s statement yesterday that any move to oust him through a motion of no confidence in Parliament would fail because he had the numbers in his coalition government.
Marape, who became prime minister on May 30 last year, said people must remember that “we removed the People’s National Congress-led government which Peter O’Neill and Belden Namah who were intoxicated with greed and power had illegally formed on Aug 2, 2011”.
He accused O’Neill of being behind the move to oust him in a motion of no confidence in Parliament.
O’Neill told The National Marape “has been running around to the provinces handing out cheques to MPs hoping to save himself”.
“But trying to buy political support will not restore jobs that have been lost,” O Neill said.
“The country is desperate for leadership and this means real action and economic recovery plan.
“A competent government would control spending and get resource projects moving right now.
“There are K130 billion in projects awaiting negotiation. They are sitting on the shelf going nowhere.
“Porgera mine has to re-open. The Papua LNG needs to get moving. P’nyang must be finalised and Wafi-Golpu put back on track. All these deadlines Marape set for himself have been missed.”
O’Neill said the economy was in a recession with people losing jobs.
“This is hurting our people in every district and in every province,” he said.
O’Neill said people were “sick and tired” of being told to accept the pain Marape had caused.
“He has lost focus and is spending money well outside the budget while revenue is decreasing,” O’Neill said. “He just keeps borrowing billions and billions of Kina.”
On Marape’s comment about O’Neill’s “illegal takeover of the Somare-led government in 2011”, he said Marape was “being hypocritical because he jumped from National Alliance and joined PNC soon after the change”.
Section 145 of the Constitution allows an MP to move a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister 18 months after being in power but 12 months before the next general election day.
It means that any motion against Marape can be moved between Nov 30, 2020 and July 2021.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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