PNG PM's chief of staff hits back at Morauta

8:40 am on 5 April 2017

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, George Bopi, has called on Sir Mekere Morauta to refrain from commenting on the nation's international relations among elected leaders.

No caption

Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

Sir Mekere, a former PNG prime minister, has blasted Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for scheduling a visit to PNG later this week, shortly before PNG's elections.

The planned visit, in which Mr Turnbull will meet his PNG counterpart Peter O'Neill, was described by Sir Mekere as an interference in PNG's elections.

However Mr O'Neill's Chief of Staff said Sir Mekere was being disrespectful and making cheap political statements for his own gain.

Mr Bopi said that facilitating a meeting between Prime Ministers took significant co-ordination and dates were based on these preparations.

According to the Chief of Staff, the upcoming meeting between the two Prime Ministers would provide an opportunity to discuss ongoing issues of importance for the two countries.

These included increasing trade and investment, Australia's development support program, plans to close the Regional Processing Centre on Manus and APEC preparations.

Mr Bopi said if Sir Mekere thought that bilateral relations with key partners should go to sleep for four months while the election was taking place he is living in a false reality.

  • Former PNG leader blasts planned Turnbull visit
  • PNG minister critical of Morauta candidacy
  • PNG's Morauta may stand in this year's election