SUSPICION HANGS OVER PNG POLICE CHIEF CANDIDATE

Editorial

PNG Post Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Dec. 11) – It is amazing that the Papua New Guinea Government would want to further delay the appointment of a new Police Commissioner until charges against the suspended deputy commissioner Garry Baki are dealt with by the court.

It has now been revealed that Mr. Baki is the Government’s preferred candidate for the top police post. So now the public know why it has taken so long for an appointment to be made.

It seems strong factional interests within Cabinet are working overtime to have Mr. Baki appointed regardless of the charge he is facing for allegedly causing disaffection within the police force, a charge similar to mutiny in the Defense Force.

This is a serious matter and one that should not be allowed to pass without public debate.

It is bad governance when a government behaves like this on a matter as sensitive and as important as the appointment of a new Commissioner of Police.

Mr. Baki can’t be appointed to the post, at a time when the outcome of the case against him is not yet known.

He has a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head and it is not proper for a decision on the Police Commissioner appointment to be delayed endlessly while one candidate’s court case decision is awaited.

The nation needs a permanent Police Commissioner as the election 2007 machine is gearing up for action and the police force waits for leadership.

It is a matter of grave concern that certain ministers have been pushing for their own man to be appointed Commissioner regardless of practices of good governance and without ensuring the constabulary gets the "best’’ man for the job.

We say that the Commissioner of Police must be a person of exceptional character, a person who does not have any police charges against him, a man of strong moral and spiritual character, a devout Christian, a strong family man, a strong and effective leader, a no-nonsense leader, a man who will weed out corruption within the police force without fear or favor, a man who is not corrupt, a man who will enforce and instill discipline within the police force and a man who will return peace, harmony and good order to the nation of Papua New Guinea. Mr. Baki could fit that description, if his name is cleared by the court.

We dare say some ministers in the present Somare-led Government are pushing Cabinet to make a decision while there are questions yet to be resolved against a prominent candidate.

This is a matter of serious concern for all Papua New Guineans.

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