The National – Wednesday, December 15, 2010
OPPOSITION leader Sir Mekere Morauta said Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s announcement to stand down was the only sane, fair outcome.
“He should in fact have stood down in May 2008 when he was referred to the Public Prosecutor, instead of trying to find a legal technicality to avoid prosecution,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Sir Mekere said it was important for people to understand that Sir Michael’s action was not voluntary but dictated by the law.
“This same law applies to everyone – Prime Minister or any other leader.
“Once the public prosecutor requests the chief justice to establish a tribunal, the involved leader has no choice but to step down.
“Sir Michael’s actions to date have been to stop the referral to the chief justice and the establishment of a tribunal. Two and a half years later his disruptive tactics have come to an end.”
Sir Mekere said people must also understand that the prime minister was not guilty until proven so.
And the avenue provided by law for him to defend himself and prove his innocence was through the tribunal, he said, adding that the question many people were asking was: “Why he has fought to stop this happening?