The PNG Post-Courier reports today that “a very senior” government minister has advised Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to step down because of moves to refer him for prosecution over allegations of breaches of PNG’s leadership code. The Prime Minister’s tenuous position has led to fierce lobbying between government factions, with Somare’s son, Arthur, tipped to contest the leadership if the Prime Minister goes.
Government insiders said the situation was not good and the split between senior ministers ‘might send wrong signals to the nation”. Sources told the Post-Courier that a senior minister had asked the Ombudsman Commission to refer “a very senior minister” to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office. Rumours are circulating Port Moresby today about alleged misuse of public funds.
“Our Government leaders, especially the ministers, have to be very careful what they do and they must have at the back of their minds that people of the nation are watching very closely,” the Post-Courier was told.
“They are running a nation that belongs to millions of people. They are not running their own businesses and must be accountable to the people of this nation. The Government, if not careful now, may see many of the members from the government benches making shocking moves. People are already suffering from the day to day increase of basic food and services [prices] that are affecting the nation at large.”