O’Neill ready to back new leader

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PEOPLE’S National Congress (PNC) party leader and Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill says that he does not believe it is his right to claim the top spot and will support alternate candidates.
“Let me make it clear. The position of prime minister should not just be about Peter O’Neill and James Marape,” he said.
“I do not believe that I have a right to be the only alternative to Marape for the prime minister’s position,” he said in a statement yesterday.
“I am quite happy to spend my time focused on Ialibu-Pangia and home province of Southern Highlands.
“This creates space for young, dynamic leaders from within our People’s National Congress party and all parties to step up and form Government.
“You will have my 100 per cent support and I ask nothing special in return.
“It was my greatest privilege to lead Papua New Guinea, but I recognise that we need to heal and move forward, and that the restoration may move faster when leaders listen to the will of the people.
“I am prepared to support alternative prime minister candidates as my party and I are prepared to do whatever it takes to rescue PNG.
“I can assure those who may contemplate being the next prime minister that the propaganda coming from the locked and guarded at kalabus Pangu (Loloata Resort) is not true.
“Party leaders and power brokers are deeply concerned about the unprecedented election fraud and lack of regard for democracy that abounds.
“Leaders are worried the economy is in tatters. They are asking why our economy is performing so badly that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has announced that they are opening a dedicated office in Port Moresby to monitor more closely the Treasury functions.
“The closure of the Porgera mine (Enga) and the failure to move ahead in three years with any new major investments such as Wafi Golpu (Morobe), along with massive borrowings and wastage have shredded our financial position.
“Our children are growing up thinking this violent society is normal.
“We now seem to be in freefall economically and socially and need to use this moment in time to reset ourselves and move forward with new leadership.
“I believe PNG deserves a change to heal some of the open wounds that currently exist and encourage ambitious, properly elected leaders to use this conclusion of the GE22 to make their moves.
“I offer our numbers, the numbers of our partners and my support to provide the platform to support a dynamic leader from any party to step up.
“I encourage leaders who have been elected properly and who are genuinely interested in rescuing PNG from the economic and social chaos to consider putting their hand up for the top job.
“The role of prime minister should be filled by a person who has firstly been elected with integrity – who has been mandated by the people honestly.
“It is critical junction for our young nation and we urgently need a Papua New Guinean who has a vision for our country and who can pull the nation together and lead us forward.
“There are no celebrations around the country despite the apparently overwhelming election of Pangu candidates.
“Very strange. No one at all seems proud of their apparent chosen leaders, rather people are scared with no one to turn to with all avenues for justice closed off to the regular person.”

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