PM slams Post Courier report on ‘NA crisis’

National, Normal

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday questioned the credibility of Post-Courier’s reporting over its front page story yesterday which suggested a crisis in the National Alliance party.
Sir Michael said the newspaper was trying to drive a wedge through the party.
“I call on the publisher and editor to pay more attention to the content of their stories and please give the people of Papua New Guinea facts,” Sir Michael said in a statement.
Sir Michael said he was in Wewak early this week to celebrate the handover of the stadium by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the people of East Sepik.
“We did not hold any political discussions and nor was there any National Alliance convention held last week in Lae as reported by the Post-Courier.
“Post-Courier must explain itself to the people of Papua New Guinea why it is adamant to divide the party because it is not the job of any media organisation.
“I was not aware that Mr Pruiatch (Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch) was in hiding as suggested by Post-Courier. I would have asked him myself what he was hiding from during the ceremony at the stadium.
“Post-Courier’s constant attempts at destabilising the National Alliance Party are a direct attack on Government and my leadership.
“This type of behaviour raises the question of the Post-Courier’s integrity as a medium of information,” the Prime Minister said.
Treasurer Pruaitch also condemned the report, saying it was a ‘cooked-up’ article to destabilise the National Alliance.
He said the Post-Courier has once again shown that it is a newspaper that cannot be trusted on its reports.
“My phone lines have been open and I have never gone into hiding.” Mr Pruaitch said.
He said they got their facts wrong by suggesting NA held its convention in Lae last week when it was Pangu Pati that did.
He said he was in the electorate on electoral duties and was not in hiding.
Public Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare, who was reported as gunning for the party leadership and the Prime Minister’s job, said the Post-Courier got its facts wrong as he was on holidays and never travelled to Wewak.
He denied that he was pushing to replace Sir Michael as leader of the party.
“My senior colleagues in the NA leadership are well aware that I have no intention of seeking the role of party leader at the present time or at any time in the lead-up to the 2012 national elections.”