The opposition has called on acting prime minister Sam Abal to be a man, a national leader, and tell the nation how and when the issue of a permanent prime minister is going to be resolved.
Deputy leader of opposition and Bulolo MP Sam Basil raised the issue on what is the five days after the anniversary of the seventh month since Abal was first appointed on December 13, 2010 as acting prime minister.
“When are the two medical officers going to be appointed and announced? Basil wondered.
“When are they going to do their job?
“Parliament will be sitting on August 2, 2011.
“Will the report be ready then?
“You owe this to the nation, Mr Abal and to your late father Sir Tei Abal, to rise up now and show that you are your own man, a chip of the old block.”
The opposition’s call follows the announcement of the National Executive Council chaired by Abal, announcing the activation of the constitutional provision to determine the fitness or otherwise of Sir Michael Somare to continue to hold office as prime minister.
According to Section 142 (5)(c) of the Constitution, NEC and Parliament are to advise Governor General to request the PNG Medical Board to appoint two medical practitioners to examine and provide two medical reports on the condition of the prime pinister to be tabled in Parliament.
If Sir Michael is unfit to perform his duties as prime minister, there will be a vacancy and a new prime minister has to be appointed.
Abal was appointed acting prime minister when Sir Michael stepped down to face a Leadership Tribunal on misconduct in office charges.
Abal has continued to occupy that office since Sir Michael stood trial, was found guilty, and suspended for two weeks from office.
Abal continued in office when Sir Michael fell ill and underwent medical treatment in Singapore.
“In case you have forgotten, Sir Tei Abal, as founding leader of United Party pre-independence, opposed then young Michael Somare in the push for political independence against a formidable push,” Basil said.
“PNG people – especially those familiar with history – have watched you ignore that legacy and associate yourself with Sir Michael and the National Alliance Party.
“You have been rewarded – against NA odds – with your appointment as acting prime minister,” the Bulolo MP added, highlighting that many saw the appointment as that of “one who is most vulnerable to manipulation by the real powers behind the scenes”.
“Mr Abal, now is your chance to break free.
“Now is your chance to assert your true inner self and demonstrate the leadership potential that Sir Tei deposited and groomed you into.
“Show the people of Wabag and Papua New Guinea that you are of that stock.
“Do it for Papua New Guinea – and leave a lasting legacy that will overshadow the charge against a member of your household on the body found in your residential yard.
“Do it and dispel the clouds of doubt that blocks some rays of the spotlight on your acting prime ministership.”