Independent Commission of Inquiry into election

Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today an Independent Commission of Inquiry must be set up to investigate the 2017 election chaos and make recommendations to prevent a repeat of the mismanagement and corruption that has occurred. “There is enough evidence now, from the first few days of polling, to justify such an inquiry,” he said. “Police, soldiers and voters have reported widespread corruption and irregularities and we have all witnessed the failure of electoral systems and processes. “There has been a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent a free and fair election and to manipulate the outcome. Papua New Guineans have a right to know exactly what has happened, who was

The Gamato-Lupari-PNC election fiasco

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato’s responses and comments at his media conference yesterday raise serious questions and concerns about the election and the mismanagement and irregularities that have been revealed, and confirm he is not in control of the operations. Papua New Guinea deserves more than the unsatisfactory and contradictory answers from Mr Gamato and the suspicious silence from Election Steering Committee head Isaac Lupari. “Mr Gamato spent yesterday afternoon smiling away and treating legitimate questions as something to laugh about,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere said today. “Very important questions were brushed aside as if they didn’t matter.” For example where is t

The Gamato-Lupari-PNC poll chaos worsens

The election chaos caused by Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato, Election Steering Committee head Isaac Lupari and the PNC Government has reached the point of no return. Either a new, independent, competent and honest election management team is installed immediately, or the election will fail. The Prime Minister has no choice – either he saves the election or condemns it to failure. “This chaos and corruption cannot be allowed to continue,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. “The possibility of a free and fair election is receding by the hour. “People say they have lost faith in electoral systems and processes, and lack confidence in a result that will reflect the wish

Gamato and Lupari must go

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato and Election Steering Committee head Isaac Lupari must be sacked or stood down immediately to prevent further election chaos occurring. They must be replaced by competent, independent people capable of conducting the election effectively and honestly. Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today that Mr Gamato and Chief Secretary Lupari have compromised the election. “Many people expressed fears previously that the election would not be free and fair. Under Mr Gamato and Mr Lupari we are seeing those fears come true,” he said. “The election has barely started and reports are coming in from all over the country of chaos, delays, irregularities and

Peter O’Neill – the most expensive PNG Prime Minister in history

“Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is costing the people of Papua New Guinea a fortune,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. “The Government has severe cashflow problems. There are no medicines in hospitals and health centres; schools have not received nearly enough money to operate; businesses are owed millions by the Government, but Treasury and Finance seem to have no problem paying the huge expenses the Prime Minister runs up daily. “On top of the damage he is inflicting on the country and the people through gross mismanagement of public finances, high debt and poor health and education services, he constantly flies around the country and the world in the Falcon jet, hires he

What does PM know about the elections that we don’t?

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has once again told us that PNC will win more than 40 seats and form the next government. Why the absolute confidence, Mr Prime Minister? This is an election with thousands of candidates and many parties competing on a level playing field under the same rules. Or is it? Tell us all what gives you this absolute confidence. Have you got any special advantage over other candidates and parties? Do you know something that we don’t know? “Public sentiment, including in his own electorate, is firmly against him and PNC,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. “The Prime Minister and his party are on the nose. He and his candidates have been made unwelcome

Ok Tedi Mining Ltd damaged by O'Neill

At a rally in Kiunga today, the former Prime Minister and current chairman of PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd, Sir Mekere Morauta, told Western Province people the sad story of the Ok Tedi mine since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill took it in 2013. He told them that the latest annual financial results are a disgrace, and confirm his worst fears about Mr O’Neill’s expropriation without compensation in 2013. “They show that a well-managed and very profitable company under PNGSDP’s majority ownership has been turned into a corporate disaster under Mr O’Neill, as I predicted,” Sir Mekere said. “OTML made a loss of K350 million in 2015, by far the largest in its history and far outstripping

O’Neill and Malabag should come clean on drug supply tender

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Health Minister Michael Malabag should inform the public of their plan to fix the worsening shortage of drugs and medicines across the nation, including whether failed supplier Borneo Pacific is to be given a new contract. We are now told that emergency measures have been put in place while a new tender is discussed by National Executive Council. “But this is too little too late,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. “People have been dying for want of basic medicines while the Prime Minister and the Health Minister send the Health Department around in circles, looking for money and trying to get sense of the situation from the Medical Sup

Sir Mekere tells PM to deal with PNGLNG landowner issues

Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta today said that the Prime Minister needed to deal with PNGLNG landowner issues immediately to avoid shutdown of the LNG plant. “Why is Peter O’Neill so quiet and passive on this very important issue?” Sir Mekere said. Sir Mekere said he understood that PNGLNG had paid royalties due to the Department of Petroleum and Energy, which should then have passed the money to MRDC for distribution. “What has happened to this money? Why has it not been paid to landowners?” Sir Mekere said the Government’s excuse that landowner groups had not been properly identified was not valid for the plant site landowners from Papa, LeaLea, Boera and Porebada. “The PM must t


Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta today challenged Peter O’Neill to reverse his cowardly decision not to participate in televised political debates during the election. “He should be man enough to debate his opponents,” he said. “It is unheard of for a Prime Minister to hide from the people like this. “I am ready to debate him any time, any place. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition, Don Polye is also ready. It is time for the Prime Minister to put his record and his policies up for public scrutiny and questioning. “The public has a right to hear his answers without the deceptions, half-truths and distortions pumped out by his spin doctors. People should be able to ask their own qu

PM’s budget cuts destroying universities

Papua New Guinea’s premier educational institutions – our universities - are dying a death of a thousand cuts under the O’Neill regime, former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. Funding for UPNG, Unitech and the University of Goroka has been cut by almost 27 percent in real terms this year, according to the 2017 Budget papers. “Not content with his free education fraud and savage cuts to the general education budget, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is also attacking the three leading universities – UPNG, Unitech and the University of Goroka,” Sir Mekere said. “School leavers were already finding it hard to get into tertiary education before Mr O’Neill came along, with applications fa

PM should apologise for free education fraud

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s free education policy is a fraud that is crushing the hopes and dreams of schoolchildren all over the country. “Analysis of Education Department statistics prove that the funding allocated to TFF is manifestly inadequate in the first place, and some of the funding is being diverted to non-TFF activities,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. “When Mr O’Neill boasts about his policy, he is knowingly misleading the public. We should be worried about the Prime Minister. Not only is he misleading people daily, he seems also to be losing his memory. “Yesterday in Simbu he told people that I did not introduce free education. Perhaps the Treasury Depar

Education - our future

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill should not be making boastful statements, as he did this week, about his failed free education policy. He should be apologising to the nation’s children instead, and telling us how he plans to arrest the further deterioration of the system. The waste, mismanagement and corruption in his Tuition Fee Free policy, coupled with his uncaring and irresponsible spending cuts over the past few years, have brought the education system to its knees. “Since 2015 Mr O’Neill has cut education spending in the Budget (excluding teachers’ salaries) by 40 percent in real terms, from K1.7 billion to K1.2 billion in 2017. The 2017 Budget also details his plans for further cuts of 3

BPNG printing money and fuelling corruption

The latest data released by the Bank of Papua New Guinea shows that the central bank has been printing money for the government, fuelling its wasteful spending. “The central bank has irresponsibly financed the Budget deficit, covered up and facilitated Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s waste and mismanagement,” former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today. “It has contributed to the growing mountain of public debt created by Mr O’Neill – in other words the central bank has colluded in the imprudent financial activities of the O’Neill Government.” In 2016, according to data in the BPNG’s Quarterly Economic Bulletin, the bank lent almost K2 billion to the Government. Net lending to the gov

O'Neill debts will cripple the nation

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s boast that he will increase national debt will burden all Papua New Guineans by committing future income to high interest payments, reducing the amount available for health, education and transport. “A primary cause of the woes Papua New Guinea is currently experiencing is Mr O’Neill’s gross mismanagement of the economy and public finances, including imprudent borrowing,” Sir Mekere said. “His stated intention to increase borrowing if he is re-elected will make matters much, much worse, and will prolong by many years any attempt to rescue the nation. “It is an example of his arrogant and uncaring attitude.” Sir Mekere pointed out that under the Fiscal Responsib

Rewards for drug suppliers

Former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said today he was shocked to read in The National of 2 June that Mr Martin Poh of Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals had publicly celebrated an apparent knighthood before the award had been announced by Buckingham Palace or the Office of the Papua New Guinea Governor-General. The article was headlined: ‘Kidney Foundation Star to be Knighted’. Sir Mekere said: “Every rule of Palace and Government protocol has been broken here. It just goes to show that knighthoods in Papua New Guinea have become very cheap commodities.” Sir Mekere said that although he welcomed the report and the work of the Kidney Foundation, and recognised the urgent need for affordable


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