Approved for Release

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020


Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says it is very much business as usual despite the political inconvenience caused to the country by Peter O’Neill and Belden Namah.

He said this today in response to O’Neill’s claims that the 2021 Budget passed in Parliament yesterday was illegal.

“I am meeting all my Ministers and Departmental Heads to work on the final implementation of the 2020 Supplementary Budget, and lay the foundation for execution of the 2021 Budget,” Prime Minister Marape said.

“I am not printing cheques to bribe MPs as alleged by O’Neill.

“Far from it, we are busy at work running the country, not taking a holiday at taxpayers’ expense in Vanimo.

“The devil finds work for idle minds like O’Neill, who has nothing better to do than try to remove a legally-elected Government, so he can lay his hands again on the money till.

“As I said earlier this week, what was earmarked in the 2020 Budget was being spent, including public servants’ salaries, State liabilities, remittance of funds to districts and provinces, and other Government programmes.

“We are planning for implementation of the 2021 Budget presented by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey on Tuesday and passed by Parliament.”

Prime Minister Marape said PNG was very much wary of O’Neill and Namah.

“Once bitten, twice shy,” he said.

“Government will not stop because of greedy, self-centred leaders like O’Neill and Namah, who think that history will repeat itself again

“I will not allow the country to be held to ransom by cowboys like O’Neill and Namah, whose miserable track record is well documented in our history books.

“O’Neill and Namah illegally usurped power from the Father of the National, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, while he was on the sick bed in Singapore.

“Namah also had the audacity to storm into the court house and chase out the Chief Justice of the country.

“This is the very same Namah who is now trying to illegally take over Government.

“I ask our people: Are they fit and proper persons to be in Government?”.


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