In Unity for PNG

The National

By HELEN TARAWA

TALKS are being held between the Government and Opposition MPs for a bipartisan approach to address some of the issues outlined in the Government’s 100-day plan.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel said he had meetings with Opposition MPs, including Northern Governor Gary Juffa, on how best they could work together.

Abel told an NBC radio talkback show yesterday that there were some very good, qualified people in the Opposition who had “vast knowledge” and could contribute to the nation’s development.

“The bipartisan approach the governor talks about, notwithstanding some of the criticisms that we get from our friends like the governor himself, is always open. My office is always open for discussions,” Abel said.

“I’ve already had Juffa come in to meet me. He’s a former chief commissioner for Customs and he’s got some very good ideas.”

Such cooperation among MPs has rarely been seen in PNG politics recently. Abel said there were some very qualified people in the Opposition who should be used.

“I’ve even suggested to the governor (Juffa) that if he is willing to support and assist us with the ideas in relation to Customs and IRC (Inland Revenue Commission) with his vast knowledge, I’m willing to work with him and other members of the Opposition,” he said.

Juffa thanked Abel for coming out in public to tell the people about Government’s first 100 days of leadership.

“It’s a tough stand that he has taken. He won’t be popular. But some of these difficult decisions need to be made and some of us are willing to stand up and support in a bipartisan approach,” Juffa said.

“I understand that the country is going through a difficult time and we should put aside political differences from time to time and do what we can for the country.”

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