7 Jul 2014

Public frustration over PNG leadership

7:44 pm on 7 July 2014

The director of Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs Paul Barker says public frustration with the country's leadership is understandable.

Peter O'Neill has been embroiled in a legal wrestle over attempts by sections of the police force to arrest him over his role in allegedly illegal payments of 30 million US dollars to a law firm.

Mr O'Neill has now instructed his lawyers to withdraw all court proceedings against the arrest warrant issued on him.

Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

But Paul Barker says expressions of public discontent reflect a perception that Mr O'Neill has been avoiding the law.

"They're seeing major efforts by leaders not to actually have to face enquiries or face potential prosecutions under the leadership code or under the criminal code, and clearly a lot of lawyers are getting employed in the whole process of fending off what is seen to be a process of holding leaders to account."

Paul Barker