PORT MORESBY – In an outburst worthy of Donald Trump, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill has claimed his government to be the best since independence, that he had “planted the post” to hold it together and that God knows “no man is an angel”.
O’Neill was addressing a chanting crowd, said to number several thousand, at Kagua in his home province of Southern Highlands where he was opening the newly-sealed Ialibu-Kagua road and launching a rural electricity program.
Despite recent defections of two influential ministers, a newly energised opposition and a parliamentary vote of no confidence due in a couple of weeks, O’Neill denied his government was unstable and claimed 80 members of the coalition in the 111 seat parliament are intact.
He said he had “planted a post that will hold the house that is not shaky and will be very hard to remove.
“You will hear a lot of noise in Waigani and Port Moresby that tomorrow they will change government,” he said.
“That noise has been there for the last seven years, so they can make noise but we are a government that delivers so wok mas go iet [the government will continue to rule].
“Don’t worry about this noise, our MP brothers we can argue but government does not depend on one man, it does not depend on me, it depends on team work,” O’Neill said.
He said he did not boast about the work the government had done compared with previous governments because he “did not even like putting people down by name calling”.
“Our God is not blind, or deaf, God knows all of us, no one is clean, no man is an angel, all of us are not angels,” O’Neill told the crowd.
“If you want an angel to come run the country, or become MP, you wait until 2022 so you can vote this angel so all of us can work behind him.
“Government is not shaking, no, I already planted the post to hold it up, and so you come and remove it.”
O’Neill also described his acrimonious split with former finance minister James Marape as “differences with brothers”.
Source material: One Papua New Guinea