Former PNG Prime Minister Challenges O'Neill To Televised Debate

Morauta calls PM's 'cowardly decision' to avoid debating 'unheard of'

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 14, 2017) – Former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta challenged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to reverse what he said is a cowardly decision not to participate in televised political debates during the election.

In a released statement on Saturday, Sir Mekere, described the PM’s behaviour on the topic of public debate as “unheard of” as the sitting head of a current government.

“He should be man enough to debate his opponents. It is unheard of for a Prime Minister to hide from the people like this,” Mr Morauta said.

“I am ready to debate him any time, any place. I am sure the leader of the Opposition, Don Polye is also ready.

It is time for the Prime Minister to put his record and his policies up for public scrutiny and questioning.”

“The public has a right to hear his answers without the deceptions, half-truths and distortions pumped out by his spin doctors. People should be able to ask their own questions as well.”

The former PM maintained that process of public debate is an essential part of the transparency and accountability that is expected.

Sir Mekere said Mr O’Neill’s refusal to debate would fuel speculation as to why raising issues of no medicine in hospitals across the country, schools are closing, the Highlands Highway and other important transport infrastructure are in ruin, along with munipulation of government systems and processes.

He said the businesse community in the country continues to suffer in a economic climate that is not conducive with the mounting issues of insufficient foreign exchange, government not paying its bills, the mountain of public debt, and the reality of PNG-owned businesses facing bankruptcy.

“Mothers want to know why prices are rising and why they are struggling to afford even the most basic necessities.”

“Why their families are being denied reliable power, water and sewerage. Why do most of them have no utilities at all?”

PNG Post-Courier
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