Prime Minister James Marape has called on Papua New Guineans not to vote for “money, relatives or cargo” in the country’s 2022 general election that kicks off later this month.
He made the call yesterday on the third anniversary of his resignation from the O’Neill-led government on 11 April 2019 due to “sheer frustration” at the way the country was being run.
Marape on that day in 2019 had resigned in protest at the way he said at the time Peter O’Neill was running down the country.
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Reflecting on that occasion, Marape urged the people “to exercise your right to vote wisely in the 2022 elections”.
“Don’t vote for money, don’t vote for relatives, and don’t vote for people or parties who have sold your birthright,” he said.
“If I have not done well for this country, if I am not the leader of your choice, then vote in someone else who can do better.
“Pangu Pati, and the coalition that I have worked with over the last three years –– including National Alliance, United Resources Party, United Labour Party, People’s Party, Liberal Party, National Party, People’s Movement for Change, Allegiance Party, Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party, One Nation Party, People’s Labour Party, Social Democratic Party and others –– have tried our best to stabilise our economy and restore credibility for this country.”
‘Steadied the ship’
He said so much had happened since that fateful day on 11 April 2019.
“I never knew I was going to be Prime Minister. I resigned [as] one man because I was fed up with the way Peter O’Neill was running down our country.
“Yes, he was doing some good, but the greater part of him was for personal gratification and gain and I could not knowingly remain in his government.”
Marape said the country had been through a lot of political turbulence since he took office, the most-infamous being the failed no-confidence vote of November 2020, spearheaded by O’Neill.
“There were political challenges right up until the 18-month grace period of my election as prime minister was up in November 2020,” he said.
“There were economic challenges, there were covid-19 challenges, but we have prevailed through the Grace of God.
“We have steadied the ship.”
The writs are issued on April 28, and voting is due June 11-24.
Republished with permission.