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March 6, 2021

Somare Admits His Mistake

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The organic law of the provincial and local level governments was written almost 40 years ago when the first PNG government was formed.

After all these years, many critics have argued that the first and second tier of government laws has produced poor results in terms of service delivery.


At the Mamose governor’s conference held in Madang on Saturday, one of the writers of the constitution, Sir Michael Somare, in an unreserved statement, admitted he had rushed to attain PNG’s independence when the constitution was written and that there are mistakes that need to be corrected.


“Some of our actions during the pre and post-independence period were quick… And I'm not ashamed to admit it,” Sir Michael Somare said.


Many provinces have put their hands up for autonomy so that they will take care of their own internal issues away from the central government at Waigani.


East New Britain and New Ireland are on the path to making submissions that will go before the cabinet. But the government says the state of the autonomous Bougainville government will not be duplicated for other provinces.


“Provincial autonomy in a Papua New Guinean context is best defined as greater power-sharing between the national and sub-national government… How power is shared is a matter of negotiation,” Sir Leo Dion said.


The call for provincial autonomy has been the center of discussion for the national government.


The Deputy Prime Minister calls for an understanding from political leaders to allow the NEC to revise the constitution and make appropriate decisions.


In recent years, concerns have grown over how provinces, using provincial and local government laws, have used government money.


Some analysts say autonomy could be used to unite a multitude of people with different cultures, languages and traditions or break up an already culturally fragmented country.


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