Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Government is fragmented: Basil

There are strong signs that the Government is fragmented and there are cracks appearing in the coalition despite the prime minister’s efforts to hold his government together, says outspoken Bulolo MP, Sam Basil.

Mr Basil said yesterday that the confusion surrounding the appointments of new Ministers to the Somare-Polye Cabinet is frustrating to the public and especially to foreign investors. He said in the last three days, senior cabinet ministers have been making conflicting public statements and bickering among themselves over ministerial portfolios.

Mr Basil said, “It is obvious that the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare is not in charge of his Cabinet as young aspiring Turks are lobbying intensively among themselves to curry favor and also aspire for the top job.

“This is not good and shows a lack of leadership and contrary to what Sir Michael is saying to raise public confidence, he has totally lost control of his cabinet and needs to move aside and hand over the day to day running of the government to a strong and decisive leader like his deputy, Don Polye.

“The Opposition will support a strong leader like Don Polye as he is willing to make tough decisions and not back away as was the case when he was acting prime minister last week. The time is right for this country to see a young, articulate and vibrant leader take the helms of the political leadership of our country and I will back him to the hilt as I believe this it is time for us to change the old guard.

“The people of Papua New Guinea demand change and they will get it. I strongly urge young leaders from both sides of the house to throw their party allegiance aside and work together to build a grand coalition government that represents the interests of all Papua New Guineans and not just certain ethnic or regional groups in the country as is the case with the current government.”

Mr Basil says Mr Polye is a well-educated and articulate leader and is able to represent the country well on bilateral, multilateral and global issues that are of significant interest to PNG’s national interest.

“For instance, the prime minister’s latest junket to Fiji is farcical and his close association to Fiji and the so-called ‘Melanesian Brotherhood’ is outdated and has no relevance for a modern and globalised Papua New Guinea. And Don Polye will not stand up to these parochial Melanesian grandstanding tactics.

“The Fiji Government is run by a military dictator. We should not be dealing with military dictators one way or another. PNG is a signatory to various bilateral and multilateral organisations that promote democracy and good governance and we should adhere to these international protocols. Therefore, the Prime Minister should not use the shroud of ‘Melanesian Brotherhood’ to confuse our diplomatic relations in the region and on the global arena.

“The days of ‘Sulu diplomacy’ are over and the Prime Minister should not use PNG for his own private grandstanding ‘big-man’ type ruse.

“The deputy prime minister has all the credentials to lead our country and I am sure he will not confuse his own political agenda with that of our national interest. I will support him in his ambition to become Prime Minister.”

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