With only a couple of days remaining before the nation goes to the polls, the campaign fever is gaining momentum for all political parties.
Prime Minister and People’s National Congress Party leader Peter O’Neill has been a staunch campaigner for his PNC candidates since writs were issued.
Last week and early this week, he was in the National Capital District, Madang, Morobe, Western, Gulf and West New Britain provinces to support his candidates as they attempted to sell their party policies to the voters.
While campaigning, Mr O’Neill has also been educating the people about the need to vote wisely as this election is very important and will determine where Papua New Guinea will be heading in the next 40 years.
During the 10 months that he has been in government, Mr O’Neill has visited many remote areas throughout the country – more than any other leader in such a short span of time – and he has seen and heard the cried of the people for basic services to be delivered to them.
During his speeches, he has constantly reminded the people that they will only reap the rewards of what they sow: “vote for good leaders and you will benefit; vote for bad, self-serving individuals and you will suffer for the next five years”.
“The power to shape you and your children’s future is in your hands now. Use it wisely. “We must change the current crop of leaders that we have and vote for leaders who are accountable, have high morals and will not mismanage our country’s wealth,” Mr O’Neill said. He also warned people not to be blinded by the huge sums of cash being given out by certain individuals to entice people to vote for them.
“I appeal to everyone not to follow people who carry money around. Don’t be fooled into thinking that that person will come back and look after you and your family. He will only come around at election time every five years to buy your votes. Remember, money cannot buy leadership and I want everyone to understand that,” said the Prime Minister.
Mr O’Neill has also urged people to vote for candidates who belong to a political party.
“Study the party policies and if you like them, then cast you votes. The danger of voting for independent candidates is that when they get into parliament, they are free to move around and align themselves to whichever party offers them an attractive package. This kind of ‘horse trading’ at the formation of government has led to more problems for our candidates.
They are vulnerable and can be lured to align themselves with a particular group who may not necessarily believe in the same principles and policies that they campaigned for. However, if you vote for someone who is already a member of a political party, then you control this type of malpractice right from the start,” he said.
Having successfully completed his election tour of the Morobe and Madang provinces, the Prime Minister will now take on the Southern, New Guinea Islands and Highlands regions prior to the polls.