The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has called on the new Opposition to have respect for the nation and to understand their new roles after they disgraced themselves in Parliament yesterday.
PM O’Neill made the comments after news footage was shown around the world of Opposition leaders screaming and yelling, and punching the table in Parliament, in a desperate attempt to interrupt Parliamentary procedure.
“Yesterday, we saw the most unacceptable and unparliamentarily behaviour from the members of the opposition,” the Prime Minister said.
“They showed distain for Parliamentary procedure, and they displayed the utmost disrespect for the Chief Justice of our Nation by screaming in his face.
“When they should have behaved like incoming Parliamentarians, the Opposition were screaming and swearing and beating the table.
“In particular, the childish behaviour of Kerenga Kua, Sir Mekere Morauta and Sam Basil disgraced our Nation before the world.
“They were not even sworn in as Members of Parliament at the time, but they continued to swear and call the Clerk of Parliament foul names.
“The Opposition’s Sir Mekere Morauta, in particular, should have known better. As a former Prime Minister, he should understand that his behaviour, in front of the Chief Justice and the Nation, was unacceptable.
“These people, who claim to represent good governance, rubbed good governance in the dirt with their behaviour.”
The Prime Minister was particularly critical of the Opposition storming out of Parliament and stopping work for the day as soon as the first session of Parliament concluded, and so failing to report for duty in the afternoon.
“The Opposition did not even bother to turn up for work when Parliament resumed.
“Not a single Member of the Opposition was present when Parliament reconvened in the afternoon.
“What example are these so-called leaders setting for our Nation when they cannot be bothered to turn up for the job for which they are paid.
“Their behaviour has been broadcast by major news outlets around the world, and presented our Nation in a negative light.
PM O’Neill said the new Opposition are stuck in a double-standard world of social media and fake news.
“They posted photos of them ‘sleeping rough’ in Mekere’s multi-million dollar house on the eve of Parliament, then after they lost the vote, they went to spend two nights in the RH luxury hotel.
“The hypocrisy and double standard is there for all to see.”
The Prime Minister said now is the time for the Opposition to step up to their role to review legislation, debate the issues, and to vote in Parliament.
“In the coming months, our Government will seek to finalise very important legislation, for which we will seek Opposition support for the greater good of our Nation.
“One of these is the ICAC legislation, for which we need an absolute majority in Parliament.
“The people of our Nation will be watching this disgruntled group of leaders, to see if they deserve the high office they hold as Opposition leaders in our country.”