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TIPNG excludes PM in vital meeting
6:00 pm GMT+12, 09/08/2017, Papua New Guinea

Given his recent chapter visit to PNG, many questions were raised as to why the global chairman of Transparency International (TI) Jose Ugaz did not meet with the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.
 
However, Ugaz and TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens explained that a meeting with the prime minister had deliberately been excluded from his itinerary.
 
“We were conscious that a new government was being formed, and that we would be immediately accused of engineering the visit of Jose Ugaz. At a time when we should be focused on individuals who are being appointed to positions when they have public records that are very dubious,” TIPNG chairman, Lawrence Stephens said.
 
“We were not looking for opportunities to be seen mixing with any political party,” he said.
 
Ugaz said that it was customary for him to meet with the respective government leaders of the countries he had visited.
 
However, he also said it was important for him, as the head of TI, not to compromise the integrity and independence of his position.
 
“Usually when I go, I talk to presidents, prime ministers, chief justices and attorneys general, but there are some specific cases when we need to be cautious,” he said.
 
However, Ugaz said that he would have been more than willing to meet with the prime minister if he had been invited to.


SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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