PM Peter O’Neill congratulates all MPs-elect

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has extended his best wishes to all declared MPs-elect and says he looks forward to the heavy workload ahead for the incoming government.

Mr O’Neill also thanked the business community and people around the nation for their patience during the election, and said he anticipates a post-election increase in economic activity after Parliament resumes.

“I congratulate all Members-elect on their declarations,” the Prime Minister said.

“Regardless of whether you join us in Government, or sit on the Opposition benches, you have already made a great achievement. Your provinces and districts have elected you to represent them in the 10th Parliament of Papua New Guinea.

“We look forward to the Return of Writs, and the invitation by our nation’s Governor-General to assemble in Parliament to demonstrate our number and to form the new Government.

“To Members who will be joining the Government, we have a lot of work ahead as we deliver our policy agenda over the coming five years.

“The Ministers and Members that will make up the Government caucus have challenges ahead and we will meet each one of these.

“Many challenges before us are known, and we will face new challenges. With a Government that is made up of the experience of returning Members, and the fresh energy of new Members, we will meet these challenges.”

The Prime Minister thanked people and the business community around the country for their patience during the election period.

“National elections are a major event for our democracy, and our people have high participation in this process,” he said.

“Every five years this also leads to a temporary slowdown for some businesses and limited disruption to Government activities.

“As we move on from the formation of Government, we will also see a surge in business activity and we look forward to the additional economic stimulus that this delivers.

“Some Government Departments will have new Ministers, and all agencies of the State will be undertaking reviews and looking at ways to enhance service delivery.

“While the 2017 National Election has not been without its difficulties, including limited instances of unfortunate and deplorable acts, we have experienced the most peaceful and safe elections of recent decades.

“All Members-elect need to honour the confidence that has been bestowed upon them by their electorates, and carry themselves in a Parliamentary manner.

“There is a core element that all Members-elect share, and that is the honour of serving our great Nation of Papua New Guinea.”

Siur Mekere Announces Nomination

Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta today announced that he had nominated as a candidate for the seat of Moresby North-West.
Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta today announced that he had nominated as a candidate for the seat of Moresby North-West.

“I nominated this morning as an independent candidate,” he said.

“My decision is based on widespread public support for me to use my experience and knowledge to help put Papua New Guinea back on track and help form a new Government that will act decisively to implement plans to rescue and rebuild the country.

“It appears to me and other like-minded people that there is a strong desire for change in Papua New Guinea and I want to be part of that change. I want my vote in Parliament to be counted. I want to be part of the rescue team to reconstruct and lay the foundation for future growth and development.”

Sir Mekere said if elected he and other independent candidates and small parties will join forces to ensure that the best Government with the best leadership is formed after the election. The characteristics of a new government should include:

  • Honest, moral and competent leadership
  • Total dedication to weeding out corruption in all its forms
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Respect for democracy, Parliament and the Office of the Prime Minister
  • Proven expertise in economic and financial management
  • A commitment to the restoration of the institutions of state
  • Reinstatement of proper systems and processes of government
  • Loyalty to the people and the nation ahead of personal self-interest
  • Compliance with the law, most importantly the Constitution

Sir Mekere said he had been urged to stand for election by many people from all walks of life who were concerned about the direction of the nation during the past five years, and its rapid fall into chaos.

“People are saying that corruption is on a scale never witnessed before,” he said. “A favored few benefit while the rest of the nation suffers.

“People are struggling with rising costs and lack of jobs. They see few opportunities for their children, either in the workforce or in further education such as universities and colleges.

“They are concerned about severe budget cuts to critical sectors such as health and education, leaving health facilities and schools across the nation in tatters.

“Teachers, doctors, health workers, policemen and many other public servants say they are not being paid properly or on time.

“Businesses report that they are not being paid for the work they have done for the Government, and are complaining about the impacts of foreign exchange shortages and the declining value of the kina.

“Many people point to systemic problems and the style of government, the weakening, destruction and politicisation of institutions of state and systems and processes, a lack of respect for the rule of law, and the crushing of dissent.”

Sir Mekere said he would do all in his power, if elected, to undo the damage of the past five years. The 2017 election is the time to act, he said. It is the time for ordinary people to use their voting power to send a clear message and make change happen:

  • To rip out the weeds of corruption
  • To replant the seeds for future growth and prosperity
  • To restore and strengthen our key oversight institutions
  • To reconstruct public finances and the economy
  • To give all people opportunities for income-earning, for justice and for equity
  • To allow people to exercise their democratic rights and freedoms
  • To rebuild Papua New Guinea

Sir Mekere appealed to the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Returning Officers and Polling Officers, the Police and other government agencies to respect voters’ rights to vote in an environment of peace and good order.  In particular he warned against the hijacking of ballot boxes and the rigging of voting and counting.

He also appealed to the Chief Electoral Commissioner not to allow and not to repeat what happened in 2012 when the incumbent Prime Minister’s seat was counted and declared before any others, even before voting had taken place in many electorates, giving him and his party an unfair advantage. “Counting should not start until all voting has finished,” he said.

Sir Mekere added that the Prime Minister should not use the government jet and other government resources to collect, ferry and house winning candidates. Those costs are not public costs:  taxpayers should not pay for them.

“Papua New Guineans want a free and fair election,” he said. “The Constitution and Electoral Acts give the Chief Electoral Commissioner the sole power to deliver that.”


2017 General elections in PNG and West Papua

General elections will be held in Papua New Guinea from 24 June to 8 July 2017.

Nominations will close on 27 April. The 111 members of the National Parliament are elected from single-member constituencies by preferential voting. West Papua has a particular interest in its “neighbour” which has long had two different and contradicting approaches towards its brothers and sisters on the other side.

While the official government stance has been that it recognizes Indonesian sovereignty, Papua New Guineans have always felt they could not betray their own “blood” and leave West Papua to its own devices.

These general elections will be a turning point, as it will be the last opportunity for Papua New Guineans to make a difference for their Melanesian “blood” in West Papua, before West Papuans become a minority in their own land. Five years from now, the demographic makeup of the other side will be very different if West Papua does not gain independence.

Indonesia will really be on PNG’s doorstep, physically, politically, militarily, financially, etc. West Papuans are the only ones who can tell the rest of Melanesia how it feels to have Indonesian on its doorstep. This is Melanesia: what you do is more important than what you say you will do or what you say you are doing. Certain candidates are seen as natural supporters of the West Papuan cause, unfortunately, Indonesia has found its way in their wallets and bank accounts…

We support all candidates that have truly stated and acted, and that continue to do so, in the interest of a Free West Papua and we wish them well in this campaign. We are two Nations under God, but one Island in Melanesia. God bless and protect this beautiful Island of ours.


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