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Interview with Peter O'Neill -

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(generated from captions) for other markets and

developing other markets. A

constitutional crisis has raged in Papua New Guinea for five days since the Supreme Court ruled its Prime Minister, Peter

O'Neill, had taken the job

unlawfully. He's predecessor,

Sir Michael Somare, then

claimed to be Minister and his cabinet was

sworn in by the

Governor-General. Mr O'Neill clearly controls the number in Parliament and this afternoon

he declared that I'd taken control of the country. Peter

O'Neill joins us from Port

Moresby. Welcome, Mr O'Neill. Thank you very much. By what authority do you claim to be Prime Minister? Well, Prime Ministers are only

leaked in Parliament and that's

the only way we have been

elected Prime Ministers for the

last 36 years of independence.

Supreme Court reference in the

past has always been that they make reference to Parliament. Parliament then takes note of

that reference if there's any issues about constitutional

issues on the provisions under

which such an action has been

taken. For the first time in

the history of our country, the

Supreme Court has now made a

direct order which is quite strange and at the same time

the order is supposed to go to

Parliament and not any other

person, and the Parliament has taken note of that order has

dealt with it, has disposed of

it, and, at the same time,

under the provisions of the amendments to the Prime

Minister and NEC Act has now

installed a new Prime Minister

through a vote on Monday. Your Governor-General also

interprets the law and he

clearly interpreted in a

different way and swore in Sir Michael Somare's cabinet. The Governor-General has announced

earlier he has been totally

confused. Further, he has been wrongly constitution clearly provides

that he can only take advice from the National Executive

Council or the Parliament. In the case of a prime ministerial appointment it must take advice

from Parliament. The Speaker

of Parliament has advised him

the election has taken place, the Prime Minister election is valid and the new Prime

Minister of the country is

myself. I see no reason why he

should not have sworn in the

new Prime Minister. Are you in

control of all the police force, because, clearly, the

other day, when you went to Government House there were some police who were loyal to

Sir Michael? I don't think it is about loyalty. Some elements of the police force

were being - has been used in

unauthorised force in creating the blockade into the Government house. I'm further

advised that the

Governor-General himself did

not request that protection.

Unfortunately, the situation

arose where the confrontation took place where members of Parliament and Minister of

state were blocked from having When in fact Government House

was advised that such a process

now taking place, where

election is taking place by Parliament, the speaker

informed him, given him the

instruments to sign, but some

undue influence, other than

that, has influenced the

Governor-General to go out and swear in Sir Michael

Somare. Are you in control of the army? The Supreme Court -

the army has all maintained a neutrality in

neutrality in all these issues

and we commend them for that. Pap New Guinea's Defence Force

is always maintained that given

that past experiences that

they've encountered in such a

situation has taught us a very

good lessons whereby we're now

addressing those issues and the

Defence Force commander,

despite the call out that has

been given by the Somare camp

which is inillegal call out

because it has to go through Parliament, to have that call out Force maintained they will not adhere to the call out that

they've made. Today, the

elements in the police force

have surrendered to the

Commissioner of police, Tom

Kulunga, who is the legally mandated Commissioner of Police

in our country, and he's now

has fall control of the police

force in the country. Elements

of the police force that has been participating in these

problems will now be dealt with

according to the laws in our country. Where

Mr O'Neill? I have no idea

where he is. I'm certain where he is. I'm certain that

he's rest ing inPort Moresby

and I wish him good luck. I

understand that he's still

recuperating from his health

problems. Are you intending to take any action against him or

any members of his cabinet?

Not necessarily, because it is

not my job to go around arresting people and intimidating people. I have

been mandated by Parliament. I

have not tried to take

government by barrel of gun

such as Sir Michael and his group

has happened is they forced the

Governor-General, under guard

by police elements which were unauthorised by the

Commissioner of Police, and

allowed Sir Michael to go out

there and take government,

swearing government in

Government House. That's why

the Governor-General has been suspended and this morning I can assure you that the National Executive Council has National Executive Council has

now dismissed him and we're now

advising Parliament to take a

vote with an absolute majority.

We are recommending he be

dismissed from

not concerned your government

will lack legitimacy? Although you control Parliament the other arms that make up

government you have completely trade duesed, the Supreme Court, the Governor-General? The Governor-General's office

is merely an office where it

represents the head of state in

our country. But their

functions are limited within the framework of our

constitution. He only takes advice from National Executive

Council and national Parliament. He can't

That's a matter of fact. This

is what has happened. He's

taken advice from other people

and the courts have not even

directed him to carry out a swearing in ceremony for Sir

Michael. This is why he needs

to go. Mr O'Neill, aren't you

concerned about the damage

you've done to your country's

institutions and that might

have some permanent effects? I

don't believe there's any

damage to the country. We have

a very vibrant democracy. allow political debates to

continue freely in this

country. We allow freedom of speech in this country, freedom

of expression, and I see no reason why a vibrant political

debate is going to do any harm to

to the country. Have you spoken to the Australian Prime

Minister? Pardon? Have you spoken to the Australian Prime

Minister? I have no reason to

speak to the Australian Prime

Minister. I don't necessarily

need their help to solve my

problems in my own country. Is Government now stable? Government is very stable.

We've a majority of 72 members

in the floor of Parliament out

of 107 members. That is a

clear, very huge mandate that's

been given to my Government. I

see no reason why we cannot

provide the stability, the

political stability, that this

country deserves. We have had

gross mismanagement of the

country for the last 36 years

of our independence. We have

corruption rife if across the

country. We have many challenges in education and law and order, infrastructure. People are seek sick and tired of this

kind of leader thin in this

country. They need assertive leadership, leadership that

cares for the people of the country, leadership that's

going to deliver for the people of the country. Mr O'Neill,