O’Neill Crosses the Rubicon with Deferment of Elections – Days are Numbered
Peter O’Neill’s days as Prime Minister are numbered.
Never in the history of PNG has a Prime Minister allowed himself to be entangled in a web of events where he has blatantly deceived, whether intentionally or not, the people of Papua New Guinea, repeatedly; and on issues of national importance – so significant that these issues have the ability to, and already have, altered the fabrics of democracy which define our nation.
After backtracking on two critical promises, firstly the promise of deferring the implementation of the Judicial Conduct Act 2012; and secondly the promise of not deferring General Election 2012 – Peter O’Neill’s credibility is in tatters; his reputation shredded; and to cap it off, he has garnered the righteous anger of Papua New Guineans the world over.
It will be impossible for Peter O’Neill to shake the yolk of genuine hatred some Papua New Guineans now feel towards himself and for his deputy, Belden Namah. No amount of explanation, verbal justification, and parliamentary or public posturing will be able to appease this anger.
This anger has been so immense, and the reaction from Papua New Guineans so harsh, that there have been calls for the immediate assassination of the men deemed responsible for the events of the past week: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah, Speaker Jeffrey Nape, MP Moses Maladina and Attorney General Dr Allan Marat.
This shocking call has been made, in what some argue, as being in the best interest of the nation and the best hope of bringing stability back to the country.
As Sir Julius Chan, despite a stellar political career, is doggedly remembered as the Prime Minister who negotiated Sandline; Peter O’Neill will forever be remembered by the people of today and the leaders of tomorrow as the Prime Minister who deceived the nation.
This past week has been PNG’s political week from hell. There is no point of return for Peter O’Neill.
He has crossed his Rubicon in the people’s Office of Prime Minister – an Office which he seems to have forgotten is not a right, but a privilege.
Dame Carol Kidu, leader of the two-team Opposition and the only bright light in a dim parliament during this past hellish week, has rightly condemned Peter O’Neill’s actions and has accurately stated that, “The last week has been a black week in PNG’s history that we will live to regret”.
Not only has Peter O’Neill condemned himself by his repulsive decision-making, but the previous knights of honor and promoters of good governance, Sir Mekere Morauta, Bart Philemon, and to a lesser degree Sam Basil, have all implicated themselves by participating in and allowing to come to fruition, these developments.
Peter O’Neill’s government started out so well – albeit in questionable circumstances. Despite these technical doubts, the people accepted and supported his government. His was the popular illegitimate government backed by the people to unseat the unpoplar, yet legitimate government of Sir Michael Somare.
O’Neill repeatedly stated in his inaugural State of the Nation address, an address in which he attempted to justify the introduction of the Judicial Conduct Act, that his government was the “People’s Government”.
Indeed, his government was once upon a time, not too long ago, the “People’s Government”. That is no longer the case.
PNG’s political week from hell has revealed that his is a government for the government – and not for the people.