Abal: I am willing to relinquish position

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The National, Monday 19th December 2011

MEMBER for Wabag Sam Abal is willing to sacrifice his job as Sir Michael Somare’s deputy in an attempt to encourage other MPs to find solutions to the current stand-off.
In announcing his decision on Saturday, Abal said: “I am prepared to let go the deputy position and take another ministry, and allow Sir Michael to consider ways and means to engage with the other side.
“I have already stated my willingness to step down as deputy to Sir Michael and I hope my fellow MPs can make a firm commitment of the same to ensure the current stand-off does not continue.”
Abal said in a media statement on Saturday that he had discussed the matter with his Wabag people’s local representatives and they had accepted to help the nation.
“For the sake of the people and the country, it would be remiss of us as national leaders if we do not consider certain sacrifices on either side.
“The time has come for us leaders to humble ourselves and put God and Papua New Guinea first,” he said.
“The current political situation has never happened before and requires us all to make certain considerations, including revolutionary ways, to bring about a peaceful solution.
“Our elections may be shaky at times and our parliament sessions aggressive but justice, unity and democracy have always prevailed in this God-fearing land.”
Abal said the Somare regime had felt that the Constitution was supreme and “I am sure the other side will agree and come together for us all to defend the Constitution”.
“I make the plea to Peter O’Neill and other leaders to graciously come forward and engage with Sir Michael. The democracy and Constitution of this country are at stake right now and, if we fail to uphold both, then we fail to do our mandated duty as elected leaders.
“Let us not make the mistake of prolonging this current state of confusion for personal agendas,” he said.
Abal said he had discussed with church leaders for them to assist in facilitating the dialogue prayerfully.
“The church leaders have mentioned that they are here to pray for the country and represent God’s will and not the will of either faction.
“I still believe there is room for dialogue and agreements to be made regardless of the tense atmosphere surrounding the current impasse.
“As long as there is room for dialogue, there will always be a way forward.
“The people of PNG deserve better from us as leaders and, deep down, each individual MP should strive to end the current situation,” Abal said.