Political impasse eroding public confidence, says Singirok

National, Normal

The National, Friday 16th December 2011

PAPUA New Guinea has come through many trying times and security situations but never a political impasse like the one experienced today, a retired army chief says.
Former commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Brig-Gen Jerry Singirok, who attempted to take over government and forced Sir Julius Chan to step down as prime minister during the Sandline crisis, said the current political impasse was seriously eroding public confidence and urgent steps were needed to resolve it.
“I call on all parliamentarians to respect the decisions by the judiciary and protect and respect the Constitution which is supreme,’’ he said.
“The majority of the people want this to end as it is not serving any purpose other than destroying the very fabrics of democracy which is the system of government best for our country.”
He praised the police and defence forces for demonstrating their loyalty to the PNG Constitution.
 “I commend the Commander PNGDF and the Police Force in demonstrating resilience and restraint as the forces have been the backbone of our constitution,’’ he said.
“Soldiers have a place in society and are mandated to defend the country under section 202 of the Constitution.
“We have been very close to being a failed state on numerous occasions. 
“There are already indicators that rogue elements are desperate and will use every avenue using various arms of government or whatever means illegally and unconstitutionally to exert and manipulate power through duress.
“This is the situation prevalent in many weak states.  PNG has come through many but never a political impasse experienced before,” he said.