1 Mar 2007

PNG unions threaten strike to get PM Somare's resignation

4:18 pm on 1 March 2007

Trade unions in Papua New Guinea are threatening nationwide strike action which could bring the country to a standstill if the Prime Minister doesn't resign over his handling of the Moti affair.

They have condemned Sir Michael Somare for triggering conflict between the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government.

It comes after Sir Michael disbanded a defence force inquiry into the clandestine flight of Mr Moti to Solomon Islands aboard a PNG military aircraft in October.

He has sacked his defence minister and launched legal action to have the inquiry's proceedings nullified.

The secretary general of the Trade Union Congress, John Paska, says the prime minister's actions show contempt for the judiciary.

"It's not about Moti for us its about the independence of the judiciary. What matters now is his actions to terminate the inquiry because it seems that its pointing towards uncovering the truth which appears to point strongly towards the prime ministers involvement in doing what he has been denying to the people of PNG."

Mr Paska says the unions will present a petition to Sir Michael asking him to resign, and another to the Ombudsman Commission, urging it to investigate the matter.