PNG’s ruling Pangu Pati elects first woman as national president

Pangu Pati president Erigere Singin
New Pangu Pati president Erigere Singin with Prime Minister James Marape ... a political milestone for PNG women. Image: PNG govt

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Former Papua New Guinea radio broadcaster and tourism personality Erigere Singin has been elected as the first woman national president of the ruling Pangu Pati at its 26th National Convention in Port Moresby, reports the PNG Post-Courier.

Prime Minister and Pangu leader James Marape announced the election of Singin and other party executives after last Friday’s convention.

He also announced the election of Louisah Hosea as female vice-president, Sama Auro as male vice-president, and Joe Tep as church representative.

Singin, from Boana in Morobe, replaces Patrick Pundao.

Marape thanked Pundao for his service to Pangu over the past seven years.

“One of the key outcomes of today was the historical election of Ms Erigere Singin as our national president of Pangu Pati,” he said.

“It is my distinguished pleasure to make this official announcement to the country.

‘Historical milestone’
“It is a historical milestone for Pangu Pati.

“In 1977, the first lady into Parliament was Pangu’s Mrs Nahau Rooney, and Pangu is breaking the frontier barrier again.

“It is not only men who can do the job, women can also do the job.”

Singin, a former senior executive of PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (PNGTPA) and then executive director of Madang Visitors’ and Cultural Bureau, Singin thanked Marape and said what has happened was a breakthrough for women in the country.

She told The National that it was a breakthrough for women in the country.

“What happened today was very historic,” she said.

“There’s a huge paradigm shift here, from having men around the party, to giving some responsibility to women.

‘Important to work together’
“It is important that both men and women leaders work together to carry this party through, this country through, to stand together.

“I am very happy to be given this responsibility to work with the people of PNG.”

Pangu general secretary Morris Tovebae said the party’s message to the nation was clear: “Pangu is not a male-dominated political party. We are very inclusive and gender-conscious.”

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