High hopes for Somare, O’Neill talks

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday 19th December 2011

GRAND Chief Sir Michael Somare is likely to hold talks with Peter O’Neill on how they could resolve the political crisis.
Sir Arnold Amet said at a press conference last Friday that he had met with Dr Allan Marat from the O’Neill camp and had agreed to get the two leaders together for talks.
He said dialogue was the way forward to resolve the impasse.
However, up to yesterday, the two leaders had not met.
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop said the country was going through a political crisis and they should resolve the issue in the Melanesian way – through dialogue.
Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah said the best thing to do now was to get Sir Michael and O’Neill to go to parliament where they should resign. Then, a vote should be taken to elect a new prime minister.
He said parliament had the power to elect a prime minister and
form a government.
Both Sir Michael and O’Neill each claimed to be the legitimate prime minister and were hesitant to give up the position.
O’Neill was elected with an absolute majority of 73 members on Aug 2 and 69 on Dec 12 soon after the Supreme Court declared Sir Michael as prime minister.
O’Neill said a
vacancy was declared by the speaker after parliament rescinded the leave of absence for Sir Michael. It was also declared that Sir Michael further lost his seat and declared a vacancy after parliament voted 68-0 to amend the PM & NEC Act of 2011.
Sir Michael maintained he was the legitimate prime minister under the court decision of Dec 12 and ignored his termination by parliament.
O’Neill, who has majority support of the members of parliament, maintained he was in control and assured the international community and investors that there was no need to worry.