PNG'S NAROKOBI HITS OUT AT CABINET FIRINGS

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By Cyril Gare

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 19, 1998 - The National)--- Papua New Guinea is heading towards a one-party government which will be supported by the military and guided by a friendly judiciary, Opposition Leader Bernard Narokobi said yesterday.

Commenting on Prime Minister Bill Skate's move last week to sack his deputy Michael Nali and five People's Progress Party (PPP) Ministers from the coalition Government and appoint Brigadier General Jerry Singirok as the commander of the Defense Force, Mr. Narokobi said the Prime Minister has created a smoke screen by his latest moves to distract the attention of the nation and the international community.

Mr. Narokobi said the actions were not in the best interests of the country.

"It has created fear and uncertainty and will result in capital flight . . . many people will take money out of the country," he warned.

He said there were uncertainties surrounding the Mujo Sefa tape scandal, the Sandline issue, even the reappointment of Brig. Gen. Singirok, the person who led a military siege on the Parliament last year.

He said the reappointment of Brig. Gen. Singirok was sending the wrong signals to investors.

"Mr. Skate's decision was fundamentally hostile, anti-democratic and contrary to the Constitution," he said.

The Wewak MP appealed to Brig. Gen. Singirok not to accept the post, adding that Mr. Skate has " raised him (Singirok) to the hands of the gladiators who will destroy him."

Mr. Narokobi called on Mr. Skate to resign and re-nominate himself in next month's Parliament session, as this would be fair to Pangu and PPP, which were instrumental in making him the Prime Minister.

''This would test the mandate given to him by the Parliament about eighteen months ago,'' he said.

Mr. Narokobi said the Prime Minister had himself terminated the mandate given to him by Parliament by sacking Deputy Prime Minister and People's Progress Party Leader, Michael Nali and five other PPP coalition members Ministers.

He said Mr. Skate no longer enjoys the privilege of the Parliament and needed to be decommissioned.

He called on all sacked PPP members, including Mr. Nali, to follow Markham MP Andrew Baing and join the Opposition.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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