The Member for Moresby North-West, Sir Mekere Morauta, said today stories circulating in the media about his alleged discussions concerning the forthcoming Vote of No Confidence are untrue and mischievous.
"As both Governor Sir Peter Ipatas and Minister Mr William Duma say, I have not met with them or discussed the issue with them,” he said.
“The false claims are obviously coming from the Office of the Prime Minister as part of a desperate campaign to prevent his removal, which is the overwhelming desire of Papua New Guineans. PNC – Peter Never Cares - is just trying to save his political skin by diverting public attention from his many shortcomings as a leader.
“I have great professional and personal respect for my colleagues Sir Peter and Mr Duma, and it is nonsense to think that I would try to embarrass them by engaging in improper or indiscreet behavior. There is no way I would ever damage their integrity or standing. It is not my style, and it is not theirs.
Sir Mekere said people will recognize a pattern of behavior behind this – fake news spread by fake Facebook accounts all with one aim in mind – to protect Prime Minister Peter O’Neill from the will of the people and the free expression of the Constitution.
He said he had been warned that a dirty tricks campaign was being prepared for the Vote of No Confidence period, and these latest falsehoods come as no surprise at all.
“What will be published next?” he asked. “Doctored photographs purportedly showing a meeting between me, Mr Duma and Sir Peter?”
During the past month or so there had been an explosion of PNC troll accounts on Facebook and Twitter in preparation for the VoNC period. Sir Mekere said the public would not be fooled by them, and would see them as a sign of desperation.
“The latest articles were very amateurish and reflect a characteristic and fundamental dishonesty. Even the words and phrases used are recognizable as coming from the Prime Minister’s Office – they are used over and over again both in official statements and in fake Facebook and Twitter commentary.
“The fakeness of the latest commentary is blatant – the first article was by a ‘Jack Daniels’. What next, articles by Syd Bacardi? By Johnny Walker? The complete dishonesty of the campaign can be gauged by the fact that ‘Jack Daniels’ claimed I was ‘spotted at Fusion Restaurant with Mr Duma’. This is a complete fabrication. I was in Australia at the time.
“The O’Neill camp should stop treating the people of Papua New Guinea as fools. Telling lies like this serves only to further undermine its credibility and that of the Prime Minister, and his fitness for the office he holds.”