PNG OPPOSITION CALLS FOR SOMARE RESIGNATION

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Taiwan funds scandal, personal finances cited

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 11, 2008) – The opposition in Papua New Guinea are calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, over his government’s connections to a diplomatic cash scandal.

It is now known three key government players met officials connected to the disappearance of US$30 million earmarked by Taiwan for aid in PNG.

Sir Michael’s court application to quash an Ombudsman Commission investigation into alleged irregularities in his personal finances has also raised anger on the opposition benches.

The disappearance of the money has already led to the resignations of senior Taiwanese figures, including the Vice Premier.

Two Taiwanese middleman were hired to discuss diplomatic allegiances and offer aid money to PNG, now an ally of China.

The opposition leader, Sir Mekere Morauta said the Prime Minister should follow the lead of the Taiwanese leaders and resign, as he must have endorsed his officials’ meeting.

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