Category Archives: Political

New political party emerges

A new political party has emerged in the political landscape of the country, branding and shifting other parties to form it.

 

 

Party president and former police commissioner and chief ombudsman, Sir Ila Geno, today announced the formation of the new party – The Alliance – in Port Moresby.

 

The Alliance is borne out of a number of likeminded members of parliament, particularly from the Opposition, consisting of different political parties and Independent MPs.

 

Sir Ila said rule of law, governance and effective public service administration, monitor and check corruption is the core responsibility of The Alliance.

 

“As President I am in close liaison with the Registry of the Political Parties and Candidates Commission to ensure a smooth transition of all the political parties merged to form The Alliance,” Sir Ila stated.

 

Madang MP Bryan Kramer has been recruited to set down the foundation to prepare the new party alongside its president and legal advisor, Nemo Yalo, for launch next year.

 

He said they are in discussion with other high profile members of the opposition to join the party, which will be launched in February 2018.

 

They will be targeting the educated elites using technology and social media platforms.

 

Papua New Guinea has 45 political parties, 22 of which make up the 10th parliament.

 

Eight of those parties are in the Opposition, which consists of 28 members.

Source: Loop PNG

PM welcomes Supreme Court ruling

12/15/2017

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed today’s Supreme Court ruling on the controversial arrest warrant against him.

 

 

He told media this afternoon that the ruling by the three-man bench is a clear demonstration of the independence of the judiciary system of the country.

 

He said it was clearly a politically motivated case by people with vested interest out to tarnish his name, and he hopes the real culprits can be caught.

 

 

“This is a decision that has a lot of common sense and it is a decision against people who are maliciously using both government agencies and the courts to get political merit out of,” said O’Neill.

 

“From the start this was a political witch-hunt.”

 

O’Neill said today’s decision clearly shows the interventions he took were the right decisions he took.

 

“This has done a great damage to the nation, it has cost millions of kina in the legal process, personally and to the state,” said the PM.

 

“And of course, our country’s name has been dragged through the mud, in particular media outlets like the ABC.

 

“I give credit to all the media outlets who have demonstrated professionalism in this debate.”

Source: Loop PNG

Author: Meredith Kuusa

Six MPs To Be Referred

 

non-compliance of election returns

BY MATTHEW VARI

Six Members of Parliament may be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission next month for breaches of the Leadership Code.

Most MPs in the 111-seat Parliament have complied with 2017 National Election requirements by filing election returns with the Registry of Political Parties and Candidates.

Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu said the six non-compliant MPs, which he refused to name, would be investigated by the Ombudsman Commission in January 2018.

 

“We will hold the names back but it has come to a point where we will say enough and I will disclose the names and at the same time I will write to the Ombudsman Commission (OC) to refer them for misconduct,” Dr Gelu said.

“That is very clear. We are trying to give them the opportunity to come and submit but they will still have to be fined.”

A K2000 fine along with K840 each for 42 days since the October 31 deadline lapsed. That will then blow out to K12,000 fine and K7320 for all 61 days lapsed by January 1, next year for all six MPs.

“I will write individually to these MPs to tell them that they are now referred and we will do it. Some gave their returns late and have accepted to pay the fine and those payments will go to Finance.”

Under section 89 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.

A successful candidate is required to lodge with the registrar a financial return specifying details of contributions received and details of expenditure incurred in connection with the election.

The financial return should contain each contributor, name and address, date of contribution receipt, where contribution was made either in cash or in another form and the amount and expenditure particulars of those.

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said he was aware of the issue and would act when he receives instructions from Dr Gelu.

Dr Gelu also indicated that political parties and MPs that lodged their returns and were being verified by his officers to ensure all information were in place.

He said that parties without MPs that have not submitted their election expenditure reports would not be deregistered but will face fines. Only failure to produce annual reports for two successive years would qualify for instant deregistration.

“The election it is a one-off thing which comes every five years; we will fine them and the payment is quiet high K5000 and more for the days after the October 31 deadline.

Sourc: Post-Courier

Photo Credit: Loop PNG

 

PNC LED PNG COALITION GOVERNMENT PUTS THE MONEY WHERE IT MATTERS

 

Comunity Development gets K68m

 

November 29, 2017

 

Community Development Secretary Anna Solomon is a very happy departmental head as her department received K68 million in 2018 under the 2018 National Budget.

 

For the first time, sorcery awareness has been allocated K10 million, gender-based violence K10 million, Lukautim Pikinini Act K3 million, and disability another K2 million, among others.

 

Ms Solomon said yesterday the government was definitely prioritizing its funding and recognizing the importance of social issues in Papua New Guinea – hence the huge increase and first of its kind starting next year.

 

“I am a very proud Secretary because not only has the O’Neill Government seen the importance of the programs that we have been carrying out, they have allocated funding to that effect,” Ms Solomon said.

 

“I thank Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel, also National Planning Minister Richard Maru and the government, who have seen the struggle of this department in addressing the issues that are now being heavily funded here in next year’s budget.”

 

“We will have a massive awareness on sorcery, gender-based violence and, since the launch of the Lukautim Pikinini Act, this was the first time we have been allocated funding.

 

The 2018 Budget talks about the community and culture sector, which comprises five agencies with the Department for Community Development and Religion as the lead agency.

 

The focus of the sector is to empower, promote and support youth, gender equality, and persons with disabilities (PWD), the elderly and women. The sector also supports national and international sporting and cultural events.

 

Over the past five years, the government, with support from development partners, has produced a number of policies, strategies and legislation that drives this sector. These include the national strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based Violence, Family Protection Act 2014, Lukautim Pikinini (Child Protection) Act 2015, child protection policy, national disability policy, youth policy and informal economic policy.

Australia responds to Manus asylum seekers

Source: Loop PNG

2nd November 2017

 

This was the firm stance by Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, following yesterday’s closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

 

 

“The Coalition Government has had a clear and consistent policy since coming to office.”

 

 

Dutton says the Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) who are refusing to leave the RPC have been aware since May this year that the PNG authorities would close the RPC on the 31st of October.

 

 

“Indeed the Government of Papua New Guinea indicated from mid-2016 that it would move to close the RPC.”

 

 

He points out that have been informed for a considerable period of time that there is safe and secure alternate accommodation where health and other services will be maintained.

 

 

“Refugees can relocate to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre or West Lorengau Haus.

 

 

“Those who have been found not to be refugees should relocate to Hillside Haus.”

 

 

The Minister brushes aside claims of inhumane treatment of refugees whilst at the centre, stating the constant claims of IMAs and advocates about their situation in Manus are nothing more than subterfuge.

 

 

“They have long claimed the Manus RPC was a ‘hellhole’ – but the moment it was to be closed, they demanded it be kept open.

 

 

“They claim to fear for their safety if they leave the RPC, but held no such fears for a long period of time as around 200 of them, each and every day, travelled to and from Lorengau township, some staying in the town for extended periods of time.”

 

 

Dutton says PNG’s processing of these IMAs has been completed and there are clear pathways ahead of them.

 

 

“Those found to be refugees can settle within Papua New Guinea as agreed under the arrangement struck between the previous Rudd Labor Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2013,” states the Minister.

 

 

“The Australian Government has provided reasonable alternate pathways for those who do not wish to resettle in PNG; specifically they can apply for resettlement in the United States or apply to move to Nauru.”

 

 

He says those who have been found not to be refugees are in PNG illegally and should return to their country of origin as hundreds already have done.

 

 

“The governments of PNG and Australia will facilitate voluntary returns.

 

 

“These people sought to subvert Australia’s laws by paying people smugglers to bring them illegally to Australia by boat – none will ever resettle here.”

 

 

Meantime on Monday, PNG’s Immigration and Border Security Minister, Petrus Thomas, stated that PNG still needs to sit with Australia to review the Regional Resettlement Agreement.

 

 

“The RRA is still current, but because of the date of the 31st we are just reviewing the RRA.

 

 

“Because the main idea of bringing the asylum seekers in was to process them, so now we’ve identified the refugees from the non-refugees, after the 31st we have to look for a way forward on how Australia will support them in the third country.”

 

 

(Immigration Minister Peter Dutton – Picture: Sky News)

Govt Invites Middle East Investments

The Government has welcomed the United Arab Emirates to be active participants in projects in PNG.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Rimbink Pato extended the invitation when arriving in Dubai on Tuesday.

Pato said he would be discussing with UAE what they would like to do in PNG, with particular interest in technology and renewable energy.

“The International Renewable Energy Agency is based in UAE and we are keen for it to assist with a review of our renewable energy options.

“We want to find what would best suit PNG, whether it is one or more of the options such as hydro, solar, biomass, windmills, thermal and waves.

“The expertise that UAE has in desalination and sewage management is also of great interest to PNG.”

 

http://www.looppng.com/business/govt-invites-middle-east-investments-68146

Justin Tkatchenko Appointed Minister Responsible for APEC as 2018 Host Year Approaches

Approved for Release

19 October 2017

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced that Hon. Justin Tkatchenko BEM OL MP, has been appointed as Minister Responsible for APEC.

PM O’Neill said with less than two months remaining before the start of APEC 2018, it is timely for the Minister to resume the portfolio he held before the National Elections.

Responsibility for APEC will be added to the Minister’s current portfolio of Lands and Physical Planning.

“Minister Tkatchenko has substantial experience in the co-ordination of major events at the ministerial level,” the Prime Minister said.

“As minister he oversaw the successful delivery of the Pacific Games and the Pacific Islands Forum.

“Hosting APEC is of much greater magnitude, and Minister Tkatchenko is well placed to ensure the successful delivery of all of the components that must be delivered for APEC in the coming year.

“Over the past three years Minister Tkatchenko has had a core role in planning for APEC 2018 in Papua New Guinea, and particularly as APEC Minister prior to elections.”

The Prime Minister said the start of Papua New Guinea’s APEC year is only months away and Government preparations continue to increase.

“Beginning with the Informal Senior Officials Meeting in December, the focus of APEC Member Economies, and the regional business community, will be on Papua New Guinea.

“Through the year we will hold a range of technical and Ministerial meetings concluding with the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November 2018.

“In this time there will be substantial attention on the delivery of major projects including the construction of APEC Haus, the Hilton Hotel and the renovation and upgrade of Morauta House and the National Convention Centre.

“In the delivery phase of APEC we will see the ongoing increase in personnel and the training regime for staff who are delivering APEC logistics, security and the policy agenda.

“Papua New Guinea will experience significant gains from hosting APEC that will not only include the promotion of trade, investment and tourism, but in capacity strengthening in economic sectors.

“The APEC policy agenda and technical support covers a wide range of areas critical for development and the creation of more jobs.

“This includes agriculture, forestry, transportation, tourism and resources, that are all essential for future economic growth in the country.”

Basil Thanks Prime Minister O’Neill for his Appointed Ministry

 

Approved for Release

October 18, 2017

Member for Bulolo Hon. Sam Basil today thanked Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill for appointing him as Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy.

“I look forward to serving the people of Papua New Guinea with the government of the day in line with the Alotau Accord II as well as existing PNG Vision 2050, PNG Sustainable Development Plan 2030 and the Medium Term Development Plan,” said Basil.

“I will issue official statements on the way forward in the ministry of communications, information technology and energy after being briefed by relevant government departments and agencies,” he said.

But as an overview, Mr Basil will be looking at responsible, affordable and accessible communications in radio, television and internet including concerted effort to address cyber crime. He also wants to see a sustainable energy policy and regulatory framework to power up industries, urban areas and more importantly rural Papua New Guinea.

“Energy is often the first utility requirement before water and telecommunications so we must get our Energy Policy right,” said Mr Basil.

Mr Basil wants accelerated thinking on energy policy and regulations with a view of establishing an energy policy and regulation authority focusing on energy generation, transmission and distribution making use of our natural resources and spreading the benefits of energy beyond urban areas and industries to all districts.

In Communications, the Minister intends to review the National Broadcasting Commission and provincial radio stations with a view to re-introduce shortwave and medium wave frequencies to improve radio access in remote rural areas as in the early 1980s.

Minister Basil also wants a review of NBC funding, revenue generation and financial management to see that cash flow and its implications on wages is addressed urgently.

The ministry is the first Cabinet portfolio allocated to Pangu Pati since the cross-over of 15 MPs to Government ranks. The package so far includes two vice ministries (education and fisheries); and a number of parliamentary committee chairs including chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

Minister Basil Appointed to Drive Technological Advancement in Communications, Information Technology and Energy

Approved for Release: 18 October 2017
Office of the Prime Minister,Papua New Guinea
 
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced a realignment in ministerial portfolio allocations with the appointment of Hon. Sam Basil MP as Minister Responsible for Communications, Information Technology and Energy.
 
The changes in portfolios will strengthen the National Government’s focus on key growth sectors that will have a direct impact on business development and community advancement.
 
“Minister Basil will be responsible for the energy and communications sectors that are crucial for growing a modern economy,” the Prime Minister said.
 
“I have great confidence in the minister’s capacity to meet both the challenges and opportunities that our country faces in these areas.
 
“There are clear synergies between the energy and communications sectors brought about by technological advances that are enabling Papua New Guinea to deliver positive change not only in urban areas, but also in rural and remote areas.
 
“The global energy sector is continually evolving with access to more cost-effective power generation and Papua New Guinea must be at the forefront of harnessing new technologies.
 
“Modern sources of energy production are more efficient and environmentally friendly, reducing the impact on local ecologies and reducing the causes of climate change.
 
“Through embracing renewable technologies, more energy can be harvested locally and does not require the same infrastructure that was needed with traditional energy delivery.
 
“We will continue to advance a balanced approach to energy production and supply, using existing technologies where appropriate and deploying new technology across the country.
 
“Strengthening our energy security and ensuring access to power for our people enables business to expand and helps our communities develop.”
 
PM O’Neill said similar to the energy sector, information technology has seen generational change in the way people communicate.
 
“As a developing country we must step deeper into the digital world and deliver access to better communications for our people.
 
“The Internet, smart phones and more secure platforms for communication are all part of the communications revolution that has been taking place in recent years.
 
“Papua New Guinea has already seen one of the most rapid up-takes of new digital communications in the world and we must increase penetration into remote areas.
 
“Through better communications, people around the country have access to information that changes lives.
 
“Doctors can access the latest techniques to better treat illnesses and injuries, teachers can deliver improved education for their students, and families can stay in touch regardless of distance.
 
“Several years ago APEC committed to achieve village access to the Internet as a baseline and we are working to achieve this goal.
 
“As Minister, Sam Basil will make sure there is increased consultation with our partners and global experts, and work through APEC to improve access to improved technologies that can be implemented at the local level.”
 
The Prime Minister thanked outgoing Communications Minister, Hon. Francis Maneke MP, for his service as Minister and expressed his appreciation to embrace the Cabinet reshuffle.
 
“Ours is a Coalition Government in which we must have representation in the Cabinet for all partners in the Government.
 
“There is a set number of Cabinet positions available, and I thank the Honourable Member, Francis Maneke, for placing the interests of the Government and the Nation above all else.
 
“He is a very capable Member and Minister and has a strong ministerial future in the years ahead.
 
“In our system of Government it is essential that we continue to evolve Cabinet and Ministerial allocations in the interest of ensuring consultation and diversity of representation.
 
“Together, in our Government, across districts and provinces, and agencies and departments, we will work together to deliver positive change for the people of Papua New Guinea.”
 

Petition Filed against Sir Mekere Morauta

Runner-up in the Moresby North-West seat, Lohia Boe Samuel, has filed a petition in the court of Disputed Returns, challenging the win of Sir Mekere Morauta.

The allegations contained in the petition relates to errors and omissions on the part of the PNG Electoral Commission.

The petition went for direction hearing yesterday to assist parties prepare themselves for trial.

Sir Mekere told supporters outside court that the election petitions are processes losing candidates pursue to seek relief and he had nothing to hide.

“It is a process we have to go through to determine if we are properly elected or not,” Sir Mekere said.

He said there is no claim of illegal acts, such as bribery, undue influence, vote rigging and electoral fraud levelled against him in this petition.

 

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