Highlands News Papua New Guinea

Ipatas: Available for PM Post but will not lobby

By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen

At a large public gathering Tuesday,  Enga Governor, Sir Peter Ipatas  told the crowd his reasons for resigning from the People’s National Congress Party citing the need to  speak freely about national issues.

Sir Peter explained that he did not resign because he wanted to backstab his ‘Highlands brother,’ Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

“The day before yesterday, I resigned from PNC. It was not to backstab the Prime Minister or to become Prime Minister overnight. I resigned according to my own principles”

Sir Peter who is one of the longest serving provincial governors in PNG said he has seen a lot of unconstitutional decisions made. One is the establishment of the District Development Authority (DDA) which is now a Supreme Court matter.

Sir Peter and other Governors filed a Supreme Court reference, stating it is unconstitutional to establish DDAs.

“There are the national, provincial and local governments which our constitution has established. So power and development must come from these systems”

“For the years that he has been Prime Minister, my advice has not been heeded. I am one who follows process. I respect the rule of law. If I don’t follow the law to look after our province, do you think our province will grow and prosper as it is today?”

Sir Peter says he came out of PNC as a way of respect to the Prime Minister, so that he can be free to talk about the decline of cash flow and the current economic crisis the country is facing.

“When I have a difference of opinion with him (Prime Minister), and it is about systems of government, it is a major difference in opinion. I cannot remain in a party where he is the leader, and I disrespect his views on DDAs and other policies. So I decided that I should step out of his party, so I can express my views freely.”

Meanwhile, Sir Peter says if elected members of parliament want him to be their next Prime Minister, then he is available, but he will not lobby for the position.

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