Posted By Staff Reporter
Mr O'Neill's intervention in the police force over the last week represents "an incredible blurring of the separation of powers," long-time PNG watcher Professor Allan Patience has told the ABC."Normally cabinet appoints the chief commissioner of police and the chief commissioner is able to appoint his deputies. The prime minister now is taking over that role," he said.
Professor Patience is a former Professor of Political Science at the University of Papua New Guinea and is now with the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute.
He says there is a clear split in the police force between "those who believe that they should be fearlessly pursuing issues or criminal activities that they see anywhere in the political system" and those "who are likely to be much more inclined to do the bidding of the politicians."
He says the prime minister should step aside while the allegations are being heard.
"It's very interesting that what looks like a really serious act of desperation is now seriously undermining democracy in Papua New Guinea."
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