Grand Chief Recalls Ombudsman Commission Beginnings

by Merilyn Diau-Katam – EM TV News, Port Moresby

In 1967, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, was among the few political minds who believed Papua New Guinea needed to become an independent state and thus formed PANGU Pati, the first political party in the country.

The significance of this coalition led to a seven year process of establishing the PNG 1975 Constitution that paved the way forward to PNG Independence, with the Grand Chief becoming the first Prime Minister.

In 1975, after independence, on December 10, the Ombudsman Commission was established under section 217 of the PNG Constitution.

“We, the founding fathers, recognised that there is one law for everyone under the Constitution and the position of leadership can be written with many types of temptations and a real lust for power.

We believed there was a needed organisation that would specialise in monitoring and enforcing measures of accountability in both the public sector heads and political heads,” recalls the Grand Chief.

The Grand Chief believes that political heads should honour their words and take ownership of their actions.

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