By ISAAC NICHOLAS
PAPUA New Guinea is a thriving democracy that does not allow for blackmail, pressure or intimidation of leaders, ousted Foreign Affairs Minister and Kandep MP Don Polye said yesterday, The National reports.
Polye made it clear that leadership "is not a tradable commodity and cannot be sold, bought and given on a golden platter".
He said this when denying media reports of being threatened to hand over the deputy leadership of National Alliance Party to acting Prime Minister Sam Abal.
Polye, who arrived from South Korea, said in a joint media conference with ousted Petroleum Minister William Duma that they refused to comment on media speculation of their sackings.
Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal confirmed yesterday that the two ministers had been removed from their respective ministries and that he was considering other candidates as replacement.
They claimed to be an integral part of government.
Polye was visited in the VIP lounge by Momase deputy leader Patrick Pruaitch, who gave an assurance of the stability of the National Alliance deputy leaders.
"National Alliance is in sympathy with our leader who is in hospital. Whatever that came out in the media, we refuse to believe, we went through thick and thin to get this government in place," Polye said.
He denied having discussions with Labour and Industrial Relations Minister Sani Rambi on the leadership issue.
Duma said that he was leader of the United Resource Party, which had been very loyal to the prime minister and a party that was a signatory to the Warangoi Accord on the formation of government in Kokopo.
"At this stage, I cannot be making any comment.
"I am loyal and no politician can question my loyalty unlike some National Alliance MPs who have question marks over their integrity," Duma said.
"I have not been informed of my purported sacking. I cannot comment on something that has not been conveyed to me personally."
Duma said, as leader of a political party in the coalition government, courtesy demanded he was told of any political changes.
"What I am saying is that the media is lying about the whole thing.
"We are the government and we are an integral part of government."
Duma refused to pre-empt any action by the United Resources Party based on the media reports.