Sir Mekere gives full support to Loani Henao for Moresby North-West
The Member for Moresby North-West and Minister for Public Enterprises, Sir Mekere Morauta, today handed a personal cheque for K1000 to Mr Loani Henao to pay his nomination fee to contest the seat of Moresby North-West in the national election.
Sir Mekere said he wanted to pay Mr Henao’s nomination fee as a demonstration to the people of North-West of his full support for the PNG Party candidate.
Sir Mekere said: “I want to thank the people of Moresby North-West who voted me into office in the last three elections. They gave me the opportunity to serve them, and the nation, in the highest political office. I thank them for their trust and for their support.
“Together we set a record for the electorate by my serving three terms. I know that many people are disappointed I am not standing for a fourth term. I believe that if I contested I would win again, and I believe my supporters feel the same way. However, I ask them to accept my decision, and to transfer the trust and support they have given me over the past 15 years to Loani Henao.”
Sir Mekere said his decision not to contest the 2012 election was the result of hard thought and careful consideration. It was made with the best interest of the electorate at heart.
Sir Mekere worked in the public sector for 43 years, and has had the privilege of serving the people of Papua New Guinea as Secretary for Finance, Managing Director of PNGBC, Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Member of Parliament, Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister.
“That is quite an innings,” he said. “I feel it is now time for younger leaders to take the helm. It is also time for me to do something different.
“While I am retiring from politics, I am not retiring from life! I stand ready to help in any way that I can – help the members of PNG Party, the new Government when it is formed, and other church and private organisations that have the welfare of people and national development at their heart.”
Sir Mekere said his decision not to contest was made easier when Loani Henao agreed to stand for the seat under the PNG Party banner.
“Loani Henao is an outstanding Papua New Guinean. He comes from a very distinguished family – his father was one of the six founding Bishops of the United Church. He is highly educated; an excellent lawyer who has run a very successful law firm for a long time, and so has good private sector knowledge and experience.
“Loani has served on government boards and so has public sector experience apart from his high knowledge of the Constitution and laws of PNG. He is an honest and honorable man, with a wonderful wife Betty and fine family, all of whom will I know support him in political life.”
“It was very important to me to find someone who would contest the seat whom I believed had similar background and ideals as my own and would serve the people of North-West with distinction. That person is Loani Henao. His agreeing to stand also helped me persuade my party leader and colleagues to accept my decision not to contest.”
“I wish Loani all the best for the campaign. I ask all of the people of Moresby North-West who voted for me in the past to vote now for Loani Henao.
“I also ask people who did not vote for me to give their vote to Loani Henao. I give him my full and unconditional support, and have every hope that he will succeed me as the Member for Moresby North-West.”