16 Oct 2009

PNG's opposition dismisses PM's call for more lenience towards Fiji

2:38 pm on 16 October 2009

Papua New Guinea's opposition says the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has lost the plot in his call for more lenience from regional countries towards Fiji's military government.

Sir Michael this week said that Melanesian countries would work to end Australia and New Zealand's opposition to Fiji's interim regime.

Following the recent Melanesian leaders' meeting in Fiji, Sir Michael said that the meaning of military dictatorship in the Pacific is different from the definition of military dictatorship in the western world.

PNG government has since assured that it has not changed its backing for the Forum suspension of Fiji.

But PNG's deputy opposition leader Bart Philemon says Sir Michael's statements undermine PNG's support for parliamentary democracy.

"Democracy is clear. This guy, Bainimarama, shouldn't be there. And we're trying to establish democracy in the pacific countries and here is Somare trying to muddy the water as to what democracy is from dictatorship. He's crazy!"