RABAUL MP, Dr Allan Marat, who has emerged as a formidable opponent of Sir Michael Somare, has questioned the Prime Minister for failing to stand down the three MPs implicated by alleged bank robber William Kapris.
Dr Marat said Kapris had revealed the names of two ministers and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the Supreme Court.
One of the two ministers named was suspended Treasury and Finance Minister Patrick Pruaitch, but Marat said Correctional Services Minister Tony Aimo and Deputy Speaker Francis Marus were still holding on to their offices despite the revelations of their alleged involvement with criminals.
“Can’t the prime minister act swiftly to remove them to salvage whatever decency there is left of the government?” the PNG National newspaper reported Dr Marat telling a large crowd at the Kokopo Walk Against Corruption
“If the prime minister cannot, then he should come out in public and tell the nation why he is holding on to them.
“I stood up for what is right that went against the government’s interests and Sir Michael did not hesitate to sack me in the most humiliating manner in front of all the other ministers and backbenchers,” Dr Marat said.
He said Sir Michael’s favourite expression was that “ministers alleged to have committed misconduct in office were presumed innocent until proven guilty”.
But he said: “That expression is not consistently applied.
“So what is the real reason for holding them back as there are many capable backbenchers who can do the job?
“Some of us are used by the National Alliance Party merely as numbers to form the government. After that, some of us are nothing but figures to the party,” Marat said.
“We were deliberately avoided and the views, opinions and advice of other people were taken and acted upon, much to our surprise and disapproval.
“My stand against the proposed Maladina amendments to the leadership code was the last straw,” he said.