Category Archives: Political

Proposal eyed for Motu Koitabu seat

August 18, 2017  
                            Main Stories

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (pictured) says he will ensure that the Motu Koitabu people in the National Capital District have
a voice at national level.

O’Neill was responding to a query during a breakfast with the business community in Port Moresby yesterday whether there was a legislation that the government could use to ensure a seat for the

Motu Koitabuans in the 2022 election.
“I made a firm commitment during the elections that we will certainly introduce legislation to capture one seat for Motu Koitabu alone in the city,” he said.

“I will be putting that proposal together and, of course, I’m certain that is the commitment PNC (People’s National Congress) has made, you can be rest assured of PNC’s support.

“But again it will require legislative numbers which will require support from our friends on
the other side, but we will talk to them.
“I have made a firm
commitment and I will follow it through.”


Women’s Seats On Card

August 18, 2017
             Main Stories


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill wants to bring back for debate the proposal to reserve 22 seats in Parliament for women.
He told a breakfast meeting with the business community in Port Moresby yesterday that he would bring it up with his coalition partners and Opposition MPs.
The proposal is to have two governors – one male and one female – in each of the 22 provinces. It guarantees at least 22 women in the House.

He said it should not stop women from contesting the other 89 Open seats.
“I’m quite disappointed that there is no woman is in this parliament,” O’Neill said.
“Woman’s representation in parliament has been a subject of discussion for many years. Even the previous government had tried to do some legislative reforms to bring more representation of women into parliament. But those who objected most were women themselves.”A motion to have 22 reserved seats for women in Parliament was defeated in the House in 2014 after intensive lobbying.

But O’Neill said he would discuss the idea again with his coalition partners and Opposition MPs before it could be re-tabled in Parliament.
“I can assure you that I will be discussing this with our coalition partners and see if we can get the reserved seats – bring some women representatives into parliament as appointed members,” he said.

Digicel Foundation chief executive Beatrice Mahuru brought up the issue during yesterday’s breakfast. She asked O’Neill what his government planned to do before the next general election in 2022 to address the lack of female representation in Parliament.
O’Neill said “going forward, we need to have a long-term solution”.
“Just appointing members to reserved seats is not the way to go into the future,” he said.
He said he supported the idea of having one male governor and one female governor “but elected by everyone” in each province. It will mean expanding to a 133-member Parliament.

“I’ve been personally supportive of that option because that immediately gives 22 women to go into parliament,” he said.
“That option does not restrict the women from running in the open seats. They can compete with their male counterparts for the open seats.

“But for the regional seats at least, you can have some fair representations.
“Those are the options we will look at over the course of this term (of parliament). I will prefer a bipartisan approach in this regard. We will start talking with our colleagues on the other side and see how we could go.”

Court Reserves Ruling On Gumine Case

Sally Pokiton


The Waigani National Court has reserved its ruling on two applications that was moved this afternoon surrounding the legal declaration of the Gumine seat.

Presiding judge, Justice Collin Makail this afternoon heard the two applications that was moved by lawyers representing Dawa Lucas Dekena and Nick Kuman.

The case returned following the restraining orders that were issued on Aug 2, stopping Kuman from making the declaration of office taking part in the election of the Speaker and Prime Minister.

However, the restraining orders were not served in time to the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament, in order for it to take effect against Kuman.

The orders were issued at 11:50am, Kuman made declaration at 12:03pm

Dekena’s lawers submitted in court today that the original writ that was issued by the Electoral Commission on April 20, was signed by Max Yomba, the appointed Returning officer.

It was also put before the court that another writ, issued on April 26, was the one issued by Freddy Yuan.

Lawyer for the Electoral Commission told the court that the application by Dekena’s lawyers should be refused in order to maintain the status-quo, as Kuman has already made the declaration of office.

Kuman’s lawyer at the same time this afternoon, also asked the court to dismiss the case, sighting unreasonable cause of action by Dekena as his client has already been sworn in.

His lawyer said that the case is an abuse of process now that a member has been declared and the only way to challenge the result is by way of election petition.

But Greg Egan, who represented Dekena said it is important that the duly elected member for Gumine represent them on the floor of parliament.

He also asked for an expedited hearing of the case.

Counting for the seat ended on July 26, however the declaration was made two days later on “different results”.


Police Commissioner Baki to Invite PM for Interview

Thursday August 10th, 2017

The Waigani National Court refused to entertain an application for an extension on the stay order on the warrant of arrest for the Prime Minister, Honourable Peter O’Neill on Tuesday this week.

Since then there has been numerous comments made by people from all facets of the PNG community, both in the mainstream as well as social media.

Most are asking what action the police will take and when.

As Commissioner of Police I welcome the decision of the court as it now paves the way for us to move forward on this matter.

Since the Court decision I have had consultations with my senior officers on the case. I want the people of Papua New Guinea to appreciate that this is a very sensitive and delicate matter involving the Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. It comes during the formation of the government and amid election related clashes in at least three highland provinces which has left more than 10 people dead so far.

Against this background there is a need to thread carefully.

That being said, by way of background, a warrant of arrest was issued for Prime Minister O’Neill in 2014. A Judicial Review was sought on two grounds, that the Chief Magistrate when issuing the Warrant of Arrest acted without or in excess of her jurisdiction when no information was laid, and that the warrant also did not disclose an offence known in law and departs from elements of offence of official corruption prescribed by Section 87 of the Criminal Code.

However, the Court in its ruling on Tuesday rejected these grounds of review and dismissed the proceedings as an abuse of process.

The option now open in this matter is for the Commissioner of Police, myself, to invite the Prime Minister to come in for an interview. This is not a requirement by law but an existing and established protocol the Constabulary has engaged over the years for leaders and high profile people. After all, the premise is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and so leaders with standing in the society must be respectfully dealt with.

I have had an executive brief on the case made available to me by Director Fraud and Anti Corruption Chief Superintendent Mathew Damaru through Assistant Commissioner Crimes Victor Isouve.

It must be appreciated that actions on this investigation leading up to the issuance of the warrant of arrest were taken prior to my appointment as Police Commissioner. In fact I am the second Commissioner in office after the warrant of arrest was issued for the Prime Minister. However, neither myself, nor the previous Police Commissioner have been made privy to or have had an appreciation of the investigation.

I will now be engaging my Assistant Commissioner Crimes and Director Fraud and his team to assist me to fully appreciate the case after which I will invite the Prime Minister to come in for the interview.

Thank you.

Gari L. Baki, CBE, CStJ, DPS, QPM
Commissioner of Police
Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary

New Ministers and Ministerial Responsibilities 2017

The O’Neill-Abel Government Ministers and their responsible departments:

  1. Peter O’Neill – PM, NEC, Sports and APEC
  2. Charles Abel – DPM & Treasury
  3. Kevin Isifu – Inter-Government Relations
  4. James Marape – Finance & Rural Development
  5. Richard Maru – National Planning and Monitoring
  6. Elias Kapavore – Public Service
  7. Fabian Pok – Petroleum & Energy
  8. Wera Mori – Commerce & Industry
  9. John Pundari – Environment, Conservation & Climate Change
  10. Benny Allen – Agriculture & Livestock
  11. Wesley Nukundj – Transport
  12. Merrah Kipefa – Labour & Industrial Relations
  13.  Francis Maneke – Communication & Information Technology
  14. Soroi Eoe – Religion, Youth & Community Development
  15. Justin Tkatchenko – Lands & Physical Planing
  16. Sir Puka Temu – Health & HIV/AIDS
  17. Rimbink Pato – Foreign Affairs & Trade
  18. Nick Kuman – Education
  19. Pila Niningi – Higher Education, Science, Research & Technology
  20. Patrick Basa – Fisheries
  21. Jelta Wong – Police
  22. Roy Biyama – Correctional Services
  23. John Kaupa – Housing & Urbanization
  24. Emil Tammur – Culture & Tourism
  25. Fr. Simon Dumarinu – Bougainville Affairs
  26. Alfred Manase – Civil Aviation
  27. Johnson Tuke – Mining
  28. Davis Steven – Justice & Attorney General
  29. William Duma – Public Enterprise and State Investments
  30. Solan Mirisim – Defence
  31. Douglas Tumuriesa – Forestry
  32. Michael Nali – Works & Implementation
  33. Petrus Thomas – Immigration & Border Security 

Congratulatory Messages to O’Neill

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has received overwhelming congratulatory messages from counterparts in the Pacific, Australia and APEC economies.

Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Australia’s Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on different occasions sent their congratulatory messages to Mr O’Neill both pledging their support for PNG.

Small island nation leaders have also congratulated Mr O’Neill on his re-election, including several members of the Pacific Islands Forum who will accord PM O’Neill the respect when he attends the 48th PIF Meeting in Apia two weeks time.

Several APEC economy leaders have also sent their congratulatory messages personally to Mr O’Neill since his re-election.

O’Neill said he’s had many of his counterparts congratulate him personally from their countries but it was nothing to make a big issue about as these were relations both countries had maintained for years.

Late yesterday a statement from the Solomon Island Opposition Leader Jeremaiah Manele reached the paper. Manele like other leaders have congratulated the re-election of Peter O’Neill as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

In a letter to the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Manele extended his greetings on behalf of the Solomon Islands Parliamentary Opposition Group to Prime Minister O’Neill and the People’s National Congress party and its coalition partners.

“Your re-election victory is a true indication of the confidence and trust that the people of PNG have in your Party and its coalition partners. Mr Prime Minister, your victory also indicates PNG’s vibrant democratic process which demonstrates that PNG has become a mature democracy,” Mr Manele stated in his letter.

The Opposition Leader said he hopes Prime Minister O’Neill will continue to uphold the strong Melanesian ties with Solomon Islands and PNG share, which is not only embedded on bilateral cooperation but also on people to people relations and on our common traditions and culture as Melanesian societies.

“As you assume office, I wish to assure you of my personal commitment as well as that of the Solomon Islands Parliamentary Opposition Group, to continue to work closely without you and your administration to further strengthen the strong bilateral relations between our two countries in future,” Manele said in his letter.

via Post-Courier | August 7, 2017 at 10.00 am

Sir Peter Ipatas: I am supporting O’Neill because he is a good Prime Minister

Governor-elect for Enga Sir Peter Ipatas has defended Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and appealed to all the leaders who say he is corrupt to provide evidence and look at themselves.
Sir Peter said that Mr O’Neill was a people’s leader and a good leader, and he put up his hand to make sure he returns as the Prime Minister because of the attention Enga has received in the last five years compared to the last 15 years.
“You see, I want to stress that no leader is perfect. When leaders make statements criticising another leader, you must also know that you are a leader, you must assess yourself first, you are a human being, along the line you can make mistake. So when you look at a leader, when you want to elect them, especially the office of the Prime Minister, which is a very powerful position, you have to look at the big picture and look at the pros and cons of the person, and then make a judgement on whether he will continue to serve the office of the Prime Minister,” he said.
“There has been a slogan for PNC, Peter O’Neill being corrupt, to this date, even my students at the University of Papua New Guinea, my Engan students who went out in full force to say that this government is corrupt, PNC is corrupt, have never come with evidence.
“I will give you an example. Sir Mekere is in, and some people in the country say he is the one who can save the country. But I tell you, why they dethroned him in 2002. I was part of his team, I was a member of PDM and then a member of the PNGP. There we had a good Prime Minister, but the University of Papua New Guinea students started a propaganda that Mekere’s Government was going to sell land to the World Bank. Obviously we know that in Papua New Guinea our land is our land. But this was a propaganda at election time in 2001. And there and then in 2002, we lost that government.
“I want to appeal to all young MPs who have just won, you have to know the man to make a judgment. I made the sacrifice and I have an impeccable track record serving my people. I will not throw this away, clearly for somebody just for Peter O’Neill being the Prime Minister. He has delivered to Enga, he has delivered to the rest of Papua New Guinea, he has delivered to the national capital. What else do you want? When you got the right government things are happening.
“He may have some issues, but that’s when we need to work with the Prime Minister to solve these issues. The issue of trying to make him and to suggest that he is corrupt, you got to back it up with evidence. I want to remind Sir Mekere that he has to remember how he was removed as Prime Minister. I am still there. I am one of his loyal MPs, I supported him because he was the Prime Minister. Today I am supporting O’Neill because he is a good Prime Minister. ”
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