PNG PM apologises over protester insults

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Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has publicly apologised for calling citizens evil and mentally retarded.

Sir Michael called thousands of people who protested against legislative changes to PNG’s Ombudsman’s office earlier this month “satanic and mentally insane”.

He also called them “stupid people” who knew nothing.

About 5,000 demonstrators demanded the PNG parliament withdraw the change, which could weaken the anti-corruption watchdog’s powers.

Sir Michael has apologised in parliament, saying: “I did not mean to liken them to the devil.”

”A lot of our people – even the so-called university graduates – you have to read the essence of the law before you go on demonstrations,” he said.

The Ombudsman is challenging the legislative changes in court.