The National, Friday 30th December 2011
THE events that led to the election of Peter O’Neill on Aug 2 would not happened had the Somare family and their advisers informed the people and parliament the true health status of Sir Michael Somare and Don Polye was appointed as acting prime minister.
The cause of the political impasse is the Grand Chief and company.
They created the mess in the first place and treated citizens like fools.
Arthur Somare even went as far as to retire his father from politics.
Learned people such as Sir Arnold Amet allowed Parliamentary Speaker Jeffery Nape to continuously frustrate the then opposition and jumped up and down when on the receiving end now.
What a farce.
Nape should have been sacked but the Somare regime opted to entertain him for nine years.
Papua New Guineans respect Sir Michael as the founding father and they had the right to know about the health conditions of their leader.
Unfortunately, they were kept in the dark.
Just like the health of Sir Michael, the well-being of PNG and its citizens is equally important.
Why should PNG be run by “actors?”
I do not see why electing a new prime minister to change an incumbent who was on the sick bed for more than five months (April-September) should be seen as breaching the Constitution.
Having our prime minister absent for four consecutive months is one thing but being absent for that long due to a serious heart problem simply warranted a change and that was what happened.
Was that criminal?
Parliament’s action on Aug 2 was in the best interest of the people.
I was very sad when I saw how frail the Grand Chief was on EMTV when he came home from Singapore in September after being hospitalised for more than five months.
Even today, he appears weak.
He needs time to fully recover but some people, especially from his side, simply did not care about his health.
They are pushing him to be the prime minister when he is physically not well.
I agree that our Constitution is supreme and everyone must respect it.
But we must also appreciate that the fundamental principles upon which the Constitution was written.
I challenge leaders such as Sir Arnold, Prof John Nonggorr and my own governor, Anderson Agiru, to stop confusing the people by only basing their arguments on the provisions of the Constitution rather than explaining “the principles and the spirit” of the Constitution.
If the majority of our people want change for the better and parliament acted on their behalf, do you define that as a breach of the Constitution?
Was it morally, legally and constitutionally correct for parliament and the people to accept so many “actors” in Waigani to run a government when the prime minister was bed-ridden in a foreign hospital for more than three consecutive months suffering from a serious heart condition and the people kept in the dark?
An inherent and adverse situation existed at that time due to the long absence of Sir Michael and parliament acted in the best interest of the people to elect a new prime minister.
The Somare advisers, including the then attorney-general Sir Arnold, had deliberately procrastinated the process they should have adhered to by informing the nation of the true health status of Sir Michael.
Polye was the obvious choice to replace Sir Michael but denying him that benefit proved to be a very costly decision.
Sir Michael and his advisers must accept responsibility for their own actions or rather inactions.