“I Knew the Road ahead was not Easy.”
By PM Hon. James Marape | 30 November 2020.
Today marks 18 months since 101 MPs voted me in as our country’s Prime Minister in a Parliament of equals.
I knew the road ahead was not easy, especially when I had knowledge of the challenges our country was facing in economy, in service delivery, law and order and other crucial issues like the long outstanding Bougainville issues.
My statement of Duty to the country was outlined in my maiden speech on 30th of May 2019.
In that speech I said what I wanted to do, including;
• unlocking rural PNG with equal distribution of resources;
• fighting for better and fairer share of money for our natural resources;
• building greater relationships with Bougainville;
• diversification of our economic base with focus on agriculture;
• downstream forestry and fisheries with PNGeans in these industries;
• restore integrity to key government institutions like police, ombudsman, IRC, and the public service systems;
• Pass independent commission against corruption ( ICAC);
• Take back PNG’s resources; and other tasks;
• Local empowerment in business and SMEs;
• Fixing our economic fundamentals for long term gain ; and etc.
In the last 18 months I have tried my best to undertake to the above commitments I made, despite many politickings and the 2020 challenges of Covid 19 induced contractions in our economy.
On the politicking that I was enduring, I had maneuverings right from day one of my tenure ship, when the former PM PO accepted nominations by Hon P Pruiatch and the secondment by Hon B Namah.
These political games matured to the mad rush for Vote of No Confidence pathway that the opposition leader initiated on the 13th of November 2020. Thank goodness they broke laws and now these matters are before our competent Judiciary.
In the last 18 months I gave my best managing the many differences we had in a coalition of 93 Members of Parliament.
These includes those who were constantly pushing to be a Minister, those who were Ministers but wanted to be in another portfolio, those who were Ministers but wanted to work for other interests, those who had differences with fellow politicians especially district MPs and Governors, and of course those who wanted to be PM.
With these dynamics at play the last 18 months, I was busy managing politics whilst trying my best on all other national issues, work and functions.
And in light of recent political events, I want all PNGeans to leave politics to politicians. Politicians would not pay your bills, politicians would not employ you, politicians will not be always there for you.
Stay away from unruly behaviors, in such times, as Prime Minister, I appeal to our citizens, our youths, our civil servants, members of our discipline forces, keep away from politics, all these matters are now in our courts. What ever the court directs, we will respect and adhere
We are a democratic country, let us respect the rule of law and order in our city and our country. Let us respect each other, and all residents and guests of our country including business houses.
My political colleagues who are engaged in all these contests are exercising their constitutional rights to stage a possible vote of no confidence after 18 months of a Prime Ministership.
For now my Government is secured, we will deal with these round of politics through the Court and Parliament. Hence I ask you all, don’t worry too much.
Leave court room matters to lawyers and the Judiciary and leave politics to the politicians.