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February 28, 2021

Union Calls for Prime Minister to Step Aside

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By Scott Waide – EMTV News, Lae

The Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers Union has called for the Prime Minister’s immediate resignation following heightened tensions in the universities.

National Union President, Samuel Nalau, as well as other stake holders said the Prime Minister should diffuse the tensions by stepping aside and allowing for investigations to proceed.

The call comes on the back of the brutal murder of first year Unitech student, Graham Romanong, who was killed in his room, last Saturday.

“On behalf of our members, we call on the the Prime Minister to step aside,” Nalau said.

“If Sir Julius can step aside, if sir Michael – the Father of this nation can step aside, he should do the same.

“If he holds on to power, a lot more people will die.”

The Union executives represent workers from 14 ports in Papua New Guinea. They also have outstanding issues many of which are unresolved.

One of the issues that has lingered has been job security after the government announced intentions to bring in a new player in the stevedoring scene in Lae.

Nalau’s calls were made hours after the Morobe Provincial House of assembly or chairman, Governor Kelly Naru, fended off attempts by the Bulolo MP to get the Tutumang to pass a resolution for a provincial government call for the PM’s resignation.

Naru, said the call would come into conflict with the existing court process. He further advised that the legal process should be allowed to run its full course.

While the Prime Minister has been put under pressure, from various groups, he had remained unshaken by the calls for him to step aside.

In a previous response to boycotting students, he said the only means of removing him is through parliamentary vote and through the General elections next year.

For now, government ranks have remained unshaken by public pressure. Apart from one defection, those in government ranks have stayed put.


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