The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said the announcement that the Leadership Tribunal has been appointed in January to hear matters relating to the purchase of Oil Search shares is a positive move.
The Prime Minister said he is looking forward to these proceedings and the tribunal will provide the opportunity to put the issue to rest.
“It is best that this tribunal is convened sooner rather than later,” PM O’Neill said.
“I have ultimate respect for the independence of the judiciary. The tribunal hearing will offer the opportunity to present the facts, and cross-examine any claims in relation to administrative and financial procedures.
“This will clear the air on this issue once and for all.
“There has been a great deal of politically motivated misinformation and blatant lies relating to the purchase of the oil search shares by government of Papua New Guinea.
“The purchase of these shares is an investment in the key resource infrastructure of our country.
“It is time to participate directly in the development of our resources.
“Without such investment we continue to be bystanders in our own resources sector, which has been the case in decades past.
“The referral by the Ombudsman Commission is not on a decision on a personal matter, it relates to a government decision by the Cabinet of which I am Chairman.
The Prime Minister said the nature of the referral are out of the ordinary and could set a dangerous precedent creating legal vagaries in relation to the decision making process which is clearly defined in our national constitution.
“The question that will come from this is – can the Chair of the NEC, or any member of the NEC, be singled out over a Cabinet decision. This action brings into question a number of legal questions relating to democratic process in our country. According to this action, the collective decision of Cabinet members are irrelevant to the process.”
No further comment will be entered into on this matter until the proceedings have run their course.