12 Mar 2010

Watchdog says PNG leaders want unquestioned power in attack on Ombudsman

7:17 pm on 12 March 2010

Transparency International in Papua New Guinea says the people are losing more ability to hold elected leaders to account.

This comes after Parliamentary amendments they say undermine the integrity of the Ombudsman Commission.

The changes come after a scathing attack on the Commission by the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare who had been called to explain his involvement in the escape from the country of former Solomon Islands Attorney General Julian Moti.

The anti-corruption organisation says the changes to the Leadership Code will erode the standards of integrity that MPs and public service heads must adhere to.

Peter Aitsi, the chair of Transparency International PNG, says the country's leaders are ensuring they're not bound by the rules of lawful conduct and are seeking unquestioned power.

"And so this is really where the issue lies and whether it's the Julian Moti saga or other such incidents over the last five years, it points to us losing more and more ability to hold our leaders to account."